Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
"Lest we forget"
ANZAC Day 2018, when Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives for their country. It is hoped that people will also give a thought to those Indigenous people who died in Australia's frontier wars and also to remember those who are still not free in our region.
Many younger people might not realise that the people of West Papua helped the allied forces, Australian and American against the Japanese who had invaded West Papua then known as Dutch New Guinea. Australians operated particularly in the Merauke region of West Papua.
In what many consider a betrayal, Australia acted against the wishes of the West Papuan people for independence. Australia supported the fraudulent act of free choice and actively impeded two West Papuan leaders from going to the UN in New York carrying testimonies from many West Papuan leaders calling for independence". Clemens Runawery and Willem Zonggonao were removed by Australian officials from a plane just weeks before the UN supervised vote. (in Australia’s then colony of PNG). This was at the request of the Indonesian foreign minister. They were on their way to the UN in New York carrying testimonies from many West Papuan leaders calling for independence. Because of Australia’s involvment, they never had a chance to plead their case.
AWPA added their names with Chief Theys Eluay to the Honour Roll for peace at Addison Rd Community Centre in Marrickville.
Other plaques added in the past included for Arnold Ap and John Ondawame
And a connection to West Papuan supporters
Australian soldiers who were in Merauke in the war
John Collins, pictured below speaking at rally in Hyde Park Sydney in 2006 in support of the 43 West Papuan Asylum seekers. He served in Merauke in the war.
Dr Norman Lee's son, Jefferson (below) protesting outside Indonesian Consulate in Sydney .
Anne Noonan's father also served in Merauke.
Lest we forget , the oppression of the West Papuan people continue
Arrests in Papua as Solomons delegation visits