ACCESS event: West Papua's Search for Self-Determination
Dr Scott Burchill, Deakin University
Mr Herman Wainggai, West Papua National Authority
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 5:30 PM
Dyason House, 124 Jolimont Road East , Melbourne Victoria
03 9654 7271
Tickets payable at the door :
- Students Free on presentation of current student card
- All others $15
Tensions remain high today because of the cultural distinctiveness of the Melanesian Papuans and repression by the Indonesian military which observers have likened to the force once used against the East Timorese. Despite the fall of President Suharto, the granting of East Timorese independence and Acehnese special autonomy and President Yudhoyono's impressive democratic reforms, West Papua has seen little or no progress. While an Acehnese-style special autonomy law was drafted in 2001 and has the support of Canberra, its implementation has been blocked by senior military figures. It is an unhappy and unstable situation which, for Dr Scott Burchill and others, raises the question of whether the once plausible theory of Indonesian disintegration can reassert itself with the breaking away of West Papua from Jakarta.
Dr Scott Burchill is senior lecturer in international relations at the School of International & Political Studies, Deakin University. He is a former political officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has taught at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the University of Tasmania. Dr Burchill has also been a visiting lecturer at the Peacekeeping Centre of the Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre in Newcastle and the Army Command and Staff College in Queenscliff. Since 1999 he has lectured at the Australian Defence College in Canberra. He is the author of 'The National Interest in International Relations Theory' and co-author of 'Theories of International Relations', 'Global Crises and Risks' and 'Australia in the World' and appears regularly on ABC radio and television.
Mr Herman Wainggai is Asia-Pacific coordinator for the West Papua National Authority, a mass based popular organisation that advocates non-violent ways of resolving political conflict. A former refugee and political prisoner now based in Australia, Mr Wainggai works as a political advisor, educator and mentor to the student movement in West Papua.