Paddle for West Papua

12418009_10153957956193313_4686920571782344129_nABOUT THE DAY
On the 17/01/2016 the community celebrated the cultural diversity of West Papua with a family friendly paddle on the beautiful Yarra River at Warrandyte.

The aims of the ‘Paddle For West Papua’ is to:
1) raise awareness on waterway health and the benefits of recreational paddling
2) celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the ‘Airo Dewohi’ arriving on Cape York on 17 January 2006.

12540802_10207130221328393_1645561053687292539_n
Ten years ago to the day, (17.01.2006) 43 West Papuans (including seven children) landed safely on Cape York after paddling from West Papua in a traditional dugout canoe.

12494750_10207127786227517_1594854842533120147_nThe reason for their paddle was to escape persecution from their West Papuan home lands, where the Indonesian military have been in control since 1962. During his time, as many as 500,000 West Papuans have been killed in a silent genocide that receives little media coverage from the outside world.

 

Lober’s Story

My name is Lober Wainggai

I’m from Serui Island West Papua

I came to Australia with 43 people in this traditional canoe

We came to tell people about the situation in West Papua

This boat is used for hunting and fishing and transportation

The journey was scary we could only travel in the night time We met our secret contacts to collect the petrol and food and had to keep moving so that we would not be caught by the Indonesian Military

I got on the boat in Sorong I am boat driver. It took 2 weeks to get to Merauke

Most people got on the boat there it was January 2006

We got lost for 4 days in ocean because the engine broke we had no food only a few banana for 43 people

The sea was rough little bit of rain and wind no sleeping we just sit holding on

17th January in the evening we arrived in Cape York , We put the boat in crocodile river and we slept on the beach.

The next afternoon journalist came by helicopter and immigration by car and took us to Weipa. Then we were taken to Christmas Island for 3months at the detention centre. We got refugee status TPV and were sent to Melbourne

Now I am living in Melbourne

The boat was confiscated by the Australian Navy

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About unitedstruggleproject

UNITED STRUGGLE PROJECT Objectives: Record music and make music video clips addressing issues face by displaced people with artists in affected areas, including one collaborative song with a representative from each place Forum for displaced people to express their stories through music and video and documentary making Create networks to unite global struggles Create links with artists globally Target racism against refugees in the broader community Background and Inspirations My main motivation is my love of music and belief in social and environmental justice. Music can be used as a tool for change and education to break down walls, create common ground and unite common struggles. Lake Eyre to West Papua Land and Sea Convoy for Peace and Justice Looking at the ancient ways to find the new beginnings… ‘’We were one people, we still are one people, we must up hold our cultural connection, the old land is calling us.’’ Uncle Kevin Buzzacott Arabuna elder.

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