West Papua Project

About the West Papua Project

Primary Goal
This project seeks to promote peaceful dialogue between the people of West Papua and Indonesia, and to promote conflict resolution as a viable alternative to the current and escalating conflict.


  • Establish relevant links with concerned NGOs, academics and parliamentarians in Australia, West Papua and Indonesia. The resulting networks will serve as a conduit for the dissemination of public information and as a key source of support for conflict resolution
  • Raise public awareness of the conflict between West Papua and Indonesia with particular reference to the human rights implications and the threat to the stability of the South Pacific region.

Project description
This project aims to put in place concrete strategies near achieve the goal of peaceful dialogue between Indonesia and West Papua. These strategies will consist of strengthening networks, addressing the information deficit on West Papua through research and a public awareness campaign, and promoting education on conflict resolution.

West Papua 2010 Literature Survey

Click here for the West Papua 2010 Literature Survey by Katrina Roe.

Comprehending West Papua Conference (23 – 24 February, 2011)

The West Papua Project has organized a two-day conference under the title Comprehending West Papua on February 23-24 in Sydney. It was attended by a number of scholars and West Papuans. For the full report of the conference, Please click here.

One of the outcomes of the West Papua Project's February 23-4 conference in Sydney, Comprehending West Papua, was a letter commissioned by the West Papua Project in collaboration with Human Rights Watch to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhuyono. This letter seeks open access to West Papua for international media, researchers and human rights organisations, and has been signed by prominent academics and analysts of the West Papua conflict. Click here to view the letter.

Human Rights in West Papua: Reports for the West Papua Project

Papua Papers

Papua Papers will feature current scholarly and other original writing on West Papua. Contributions are welcome and should be sent to either

Jim Elmslie
Peter King
Camellia Webb-Gannon

Papua Paper No 1 - Jim Elmslie, West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census: “Slow Motion Genocide” or not?, September 2010

Papua Paper No 2 - Peter King, West Papua and Indonesia in the 21st Century– Resilient Minnow? Implacable Minotaur?, 2010

Global Debate on the Future of West Papua

Since its launch in 2000 the West Papua Project has become both a generator of ideas and a leading focus for discussion (and some demonisation) in the great debate which has emerged in Australia, West Papua, Indonesia and globally about West Papua’s future, especially concerning human rights abuses and the need for dialogue between West Papua and the Indonesian government. The West Papua Project is also involved in facilitating ongoing debate and NGO initiatives to bring about such a dialogue.


tni troop kids jayapura Puncak Jaya Glacier soldier jayapura market
Brimob mobile paramilitary police and future victims? The peak of Puncak Jaya in the central highlands of West Papua High and Low: Indonesian soldier and Papuan street vendors, Jayapura

Workshops and Position Papers on Peace Building in Papua

From 2001-2005 four Project workshops were held, bringing together dozens of representatives from a cross-section of West Papuan society, plus Australian and Indonesian participants, to deliver a clear message of the need for peace in Papua through collective dialogue. An account of these workshops together with their outcomes may be found in Position Papers 2-5 below. The workshops were made possible by generous grants from the Myer Foundation, the University of Sydney, the Uniting Church and other church groups.

West Papua Conference 2007

On August 9 and 10, Indonesian Solidarity in association with the West Papua Project and CPACS, organised a conference on West Papua 2007: Paths to Justice and Prosperity. The convenors (Eko Waluyo and Peter King) have made the conference program and associated papers, presentations and a report on the conference available.

Project Personnel



Overseas Representatives

  • Papua Representative: Dr Benny Giay (ELSHAM, Jayapura)
  • Japan Representative: Dr Akihisa Matsuno
  • US Representative: Dr Eben Kirksey
  • Vanuatu Representative: Ralph Regenvanu, MP
  • Indonesia Representative: Dr George Aditjondro
  • New Zealand Representative: Maire Leadbeater
  • Papua New Guinea Representative: Powes Parkop, MP
  • United Kingdom Representative: Jennifer Robinson

West Papua Panel

  • John Rumbiak West Papua Project Patron (New York, USA)
  • Dr Jacob Rumbiak (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Dr John Ondawame (Port Vila, Vanuatu)
  • Paula Makabory (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Rex Rumakiek (Canberra, Australia)
  • Benny Wenda (Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Herman Wainggai (Brisbane, Australia)


  • Dr Meredith Burgmann: Former President, Legislative Council of NSW
  • Professor Tim Flannery: Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie University

Advisory/Steering Group

  • Camellia Webb-Gannon: West Papua Project Coordinator, Ph D Candidate
  • Peter King: Government and International Relations
  • Jim Elmslie: Research Fellow, CPACS
  • Jake Lynch: CPACS Director
  • Joe Collins, Ann Noonan: Australia West Papua Association

Books by West Papua Project Participants

Leith The Politics of Power Elmsie Irian Jaya Under the Gun King West Papua and Indonesia since Suharto Frenandes Reluctant Indonesians
  • Denise Leith, The Politics of Power: Freeport in Suharto’s Indonesia, University of Hawaii Press, 2002
  • Jim Elmslie, Irian Jaya Under the Gun: Indonesian Economic Development Versus West Papuan Nationalism, University of Hawaii Press, 2002
  • Peter King, West Papua and Indonesia since Suharto: Independence, Autonomy or Chaos? UNSW Press, 2004
  • Clinton Fernandes, Reluctant Indonesians: Australia, Indonesia and the Future of West Papua, Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2006

Map of West Papua and surrounding area


(Click on the map to download PDF)