This entry recants the extraordinary development for West Papua facilitated by Solomon Islands Prime Minister's intervention at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Honiara in 2015, which as the West Papuans say 'brought us out of the darkness, into the light'. A 62-page photo-and-text essay demonstrates the intense lobbying by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) before the Summit; the pride of Pacific Island activists and politicians in pursuing their Melanesian kin's liberation project; the extraordinary courage of men, women and children in West Papua who chose to demonstrate their unity and support; prayers in churches around the world; Australian unions galvanising behind UN Principles to support the ULMWP application to join the MSG. The entry concludes with a summary of Australia and New Zealand's continuing support of Indonesia's colonisation of West Papua.
In 2020 the West Papua Womens' Office in Docklands coordinated the planting of sixty living memorial (trees) around the world to honour the work of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld on West Papua, and to increase awareness of the facts and the fictions behind Indonesia's claim of sovereignty. Plantings in 2021, until 18 September, include George Ivan Smith (so the 'Hammarskjöld-WestPapua-Ivan Smith Memorial'). George Ivan Smith was a remarkable Australian who was a trusted associate and close confident of the Sec-General. In 1982 he revealed to the veteran academic, Greg Poulgrain, the Decolonisation Program which the Sec-General had prepared for West Papua and planned to raise in the 1961 General Assembly. This post includes a 14-page photo-essay about the program and Greg Poulgrain's ground-breaking book ('JFK vs Allen Dulles: Battleground Indonesia') where this important development, which may have precluded the Indonesian occupation, is documented.
FRWP Open Day on 6 December 2020 featured interviews with the President and the Prime Minister of the new West Papua Transitional Government, with Australian federal Greens Senator Janet Rice, and with Dr Joe Toscano (West Papua Rent Collective). It included a candle ceremony for Natalie Adadikam (founding member of WP Womens Office in Docklands) and a memorial for recent political martyrs in West Papua; conducted by Rev. Robert Stringer, with presentations by ULMWP Executive Jacob Rumbiak, Catholic Bishop Hilton Deakin, and Mr Clovis Mwamba from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The day concluded with the planting of a Kurrajong Bottle Tree on Melbourne City Council land at 838 Collins Street in remembrance of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1953-61) and his 1961 Decolonisation Program for West Papua.
This fully referenced photo-essay, of thirty-six (A4) pages in PDF downloadable form, provides an overview of the West Papuan people and their unique environment, their Dutch colonial history-including the devastating impact of World War II and their industrious twelve-year period as a Non-Self-Governing Territory as they worked with Dutch personnel preparing for independence that had been legislated in Holland for 1971. The second half of the presentation documents the deleterious effect of the Indonesian occupation. The final pages outline what West Papuans are doing to liberate themselves from Indonesia, and how the non-Papuans of the world can help.
On 5 October 2020, the West Papua Womens Office shared stories and memories of founding-member Natalie Adadikam who died, in her home, on 28 September 2020. Natalie was the heart and soul of the office; a warm and generous muma who made people feel comfortable and cared deeply for those who sought her assistance. Her faith and trust in Jesus, and her commitment to the freedom of West Papua moved and influenced everyone who came in contact with her.
This memorial for Dag Hammarskjöld and his 1961 Decolonisation Program for West Papua explores a complex global story of two UN peace-keeping undertakings in 1961 organised by the UN Secretary-General. The first inserted a UN peace-keeping military force into the Democratic Republic of Congo to de-escalate conflict over the new state’s mineral resources. The second was designed to deliver the West Papuans their right of self-determination and to prevent Indonesia from invading and taking over the Non-Self-Governing Territory. What was the outcome? First, the Secretary-General lost his life. Second, the new state of Congo nose-dived from a new democracy to a long-standing authoritarian state. Third, the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Dutch New Guinea (West Papua) was passed to Indonesia, an Asian state on the verge of political and economic collapse.
On 13 September 2020, the WP Womens Office in Docklands and activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are planting a tree in honour of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN Sec-General found dead on 18 September 1961 near the border of the DRC where he was mediating post-independence conflict. Hammarskjöld's death, which is still being investigated, precluded his presentation to the 1961 UN General Assembly of a Decolonisation Program for the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Nederlands-Nieuw Guinea (West Papua) that would have deterred Indonesia from invading the territory in 1962, and thus rendered unnecessary the so-called peace treaty (New York Agreement) that facilitated Indonesia's incorporation of the territory.
On 9 September 2019 the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) travelled to Canberra with a petition of 17,000 signatures asking the government to vote for motions supporting West Papua's self-determination in the UN General Assembly. Jacob Rumbiak and Ronny Kareni, with members of Australia West Papua Association (Melb) and FRWP Womens' Office (Docklands) started the pilgrimage at the Netherlands Australia War Memorial to honour the nation's Dutch colonial heritage, crossed Lake Burley Griffin to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy to acknowledge Indigenous Sovereignty, and concluded at Parliament House with a Media Conference during which Andrew Wilkie MP and Greens Senators Richard di Natale and Janet Rice were handed the box of signatures. Later in the day Senator di Natale tabled the petition in the Senate. Three days later Nadine Rutter, who organised the petition, presented it to Herman Wainggai (ULMWP'S UN Representative) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
'The Case for Freedom of Religion in West Papua's struggle for Self-determination' by Jacob Rumbiak for the Religious Freedom Institute Conference in Bangkok, 4-6 November 2019. Eleven informative powerpoints, including bibliography, with a PDF for downloading.
An exhibition of twenty-nine works by Australia's most gifted and beloved cartoonists published in 2006 after the arrival of forty-three asylum seekers from West Papua. The cartoons narrate and amplify the war-of-words between Canberra and Jakarta, and between Australian politicians, over the refugees' claims of genocide and Indonesia's racist militarized rule. That Australia's media moguls published their employees' works suggests that they too believed it was time to question Australia's long-standing support of the Indonesian colonial occupation.
Thirty-one colourful informative slides prepared by Dr Jemima Amery-Gale of some of the wondrous indigenous flora and fauna facing increasing threat of extinction from mining, logging, conversion of rainforests to palm oil plantations, and the black market trade in West Papua.
This extended essay is about two unique Australians and the startling symbols they employed to demonstrate their support of West Papuans right to self-determination. Army Officer (ret.) Barbara Tipper's fused-glass sculpture of a baby turtle in the Raja Ampat Islands was a feature of the 2015 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua. Dr Jon Kozeniauskas, who bought the sculpture, is a Collins St dental specialist. In October 2000 used his Giallo Moderno Ferrari to carve out media space for West Papua which the Australian government had surreptitiously shut down after East Timor's independence in 1999. In 2001 he bought a baby pig for independence leader Jacob Rumbiak, which in a few months changed the delusory perception of West Papuans as Indonesians of Southeast Asia to West Papuans as Melanesians of the Pacific.
On 15 May 2015, on the eve of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit in Honiara (Solomon Islands), Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, joined Revd Heather Patacca and the FRWP Women’s Office in a sunset Prayer Vigil for West Papua. This photo-essay includes the glorious images taken by acclaimed Australian photographer Dean Golja during the moving prayer service.
On 28 November 2014, the Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs, representing the Tongoa-Shepherd Islanders from the SHEFA Province of Vanuatu, renewed its kastom and political relations with the Federal Republic of West Papua in a welcome ceremony organised by the council's women's group. Chief Morris Kaloran initiated the renewal in 2002 on Australian Aboriginal land during the Sanap Wantaim Ceremonial in Melbourne. Relations deepened during the Council's Summit for West Papua in Port Vila in 2007, which concluded with the Unity Day Declaration by the West Papua National Authority, Port Vila Council of Chiefs, and Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs. This ceremony in 2014 opened the West Papua Leaders Summit on Reconciliation & Unification (hosted by Vanuatu’s National Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Vanuatu Government, Vanuatu Christian Council of Churches, Pacific Conference of Churches) that oversaw the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
Photo-essay of the Procession of Gifts and Solidarity March that opened the Vanuatu Government's 'Reconciliation and Unity Summit for West Papuan Leaders' on 1 December 2014. The ground-breaking Summit concluded with the establishment of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), a representative coordinating body of West Papuans tasked with underwriting their nation's application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). The Summit was sponsored by the Vanuatu Government and moderated by the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, Vanuatu Christian Council, and Pacific Conference of Churches. On 4 February 2015, the Vanuatu Government, surrounded by these influential institutions, lodged the application with the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila.
This photo-essay (30 slides) is of a two-week summit in Vanuatu that culminated with a ground-breaking ‘Unity Day Port Vila Vanuatu Declaration’ signed by the Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs, the Port Vila Council of Chiefs, and the West Papua National Authority on 29 November 2007. The declaration differed from previous iterations between the two peoples in that it was organised by influential Vanuatu chiefs, not elected politicians, and by the West Papua National Authority with its own history of political struggle (as distinct from human or cultural rights). The declaration set the long-term agenda for foreign support of the West Papuan struggle, because it rendered the Vanuatu Government responsible for sponsoring West Papua onto the UN Decolonisation List, for listing West Papua with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Pacific Islands Forum and the Africa Caribbean Pacific Group, and for hosting a peace conference between Indonesia and the West Papua National Authority.