Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release 8 April 2015
The Australia West Papua Association in Sydney congratulates the people and Government of Vanuatu on receiving the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award for 2015.
The Award is given annually by the West Papua Advocacy Team to individuals or organisations in recognition of their work in support of West Papua. The award is in honour of John Rumbiak, a renowned champion of human rights for West Papuans who tragically suffered a debilitating stroke in 2005.
The Vanuatu Government and its people have been consistent in their support of West Papua. It is the one country in the world where everybody knows the issue and the Vanuatu Government has raised concerns about West Papua in international fora. The former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil raised the issue at the United Nations General Assembly and again at the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting in Sri Lanka.The Vanuatu Government supported the historic meeting of West Papuan leaders in Port Vila in December 2014, where the new organisation called the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was formed
We warmly congratulate the people and Government of Vanuatu on the award and on their ongoing commitment to bring attention to the world the injustices suffered by the West Papuan people.
Joe Collins on behalf of AWPA (Sydney)
The West Papua Advocacy Team also noted with great sympathy the terrible devastation which befell Vanuatu in the form of Cyclone Pam and has forwarded the stipend that accompanies this award to Oxfam USA with specific instructions that the money be directed to relief operations in Vanuatu