On 11 December 2016, during the West Papua Rent Collective’s Christmas party, Jacob Rumbiak launched the TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR EDUCATING YOUNG WEST PAPUANS OUTSIDE THEIR HOMELAND. Trevor Grant, a loyal and generous member of the Rent Collective, inaugurated the fund with a $5,000.00 donation. The scholarships are part of the self-determination project enabled by the MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP’s recognition of the West Papuans’ right of sovereignty over their own territory.
TREVOR GRANT was a fearless and respected sports journalist with two of Australia’s biggest newspapers, and a dynamic advocate for the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka (and Australia). In 2015, the year he was diagnosed with mesothelioma (a pernicious cancer caused by asbestos in the walls and pipes of The Age and Herald newspaper buildings), he joined the the WEST PAPUA RENT COLLECTIVE. The Rent Collective is a unique galaxy of Australians that supports the Federal Republic of West Papua’s glorious five-star energy office in Docklands. Trevor’s generosity in 2015 put the office on a sustainable trajectory. Weeks before he died on 5 March 2017, the Federal Republic of West Papua told him of its intention to name the airport in Numfoor Island the Trevor Grant Airport.
The Federal Republic of West Papua launched the Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund during the West Papua Rent Collective’s Christmas party at the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery in Fitzroy at the conclusion of the Sampari Art Exhibition and Sale for West Papua.
“Ephemeral art as a metaphor for life applies generally to us all, but most specifically to West Papua. West Papuans face dilemmas with ephemerality at many levels: the destruction of the natural environment; the transiency of an indigenous culture being lost to genocide, transmigration and exiling; the loss of political prisoners’ legacies of struggles and gains through the passage of time and inadequate records management. The heights of their cycles are not always being captured, preserved, and the messages shared.
I honour and acknowledge the strength, resilience and faith of West Papuan freedom fighters and political prisoners past and present. May they know they are not alone or abandoned but will live on as their stories are told and their legacies preserved and honoured through the arts” (BARBARA TIPPER)
Catalogue, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua
The Cartoon Exhibition (part of the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua) comprised twenty-nine works by Australia’s most gifted and beloved cartoonists that were published in 2006 after the arrival of forty-three West Papuan asylum seekers. The images mostly lampoon the war-of-words between Canberra and Jakarta, and between Australian politicians, over the refugees’ reports of genocide and crimes-against-humanity. That Australia’s powerful media moguls published (rather than shelved) their employees’ works suggests that they too believed it was time to begin questioning Australia’s long-standing support of the Indonesian occupation.
1. DETAILS OF THE TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Australia West Papua Association (Melbourne) is seeking donations for each student’s boarding, tuition, medical and visa costs ($3,000/year). DONATIONS AT Commonwealth Bank: Australia West Papua Association (Melb) BSB 06 3012, ACC 10303295 INQUIRIES Louise Byrne, West Papua Womens Office, 042474 5155; Ned Byrne (61 08) 9795 3759, email@example.com
2. IMAGE FOR TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND © DR IAN M. WATKINSON Lecturer in Regional Tectonic Analysis, Royal Holloway University of London.
“This child swam alongside our boat wearing those amazing home-made wooden goggles while we were doing geological fieldwork off the south coast of Supiori in September 2011”
The Biak craft the goggles from their sacred MARES tree (Calophyllum species). The Mares entered mythological history when SAMPARI, the Morning Star, told Manarmakeri “Take the fruit of the bintangur (maresbon), cast a spell, and throw them at Princess Insoraki, who will become pregnant and give birth to a son called Manarbew (Bringer of Peace, Resurrection, and Eternal Life)”. The Biak call the Mares tree Aibesobin (ai/tree, be/that, so/throw, bin/woman (The myth of Manarmakeri Freerk Kamma, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1972).
3. TREVOR GRANT
Trevor Grant I was blinded by cancer, and the asbestos that caused it The Drum, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 5 April 2016 [click to read] Trevor Grant, The Drum, April 2016
Obituary Notice, The Age (Greg Baum) 7 March 2017 [click to read] Sports journalist Trevor Grant dies, The Age, 6 March 2017