Wednesday, December 06, 2006


This is an invitation to a most historic and spiritually significant event for our church leaders, representatives and all concerned citizens to stand in prayer and solidarity with the suffering peoples of West Papua.

On the 14th Dec. there is a concert ‘Peace Child’ at the BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square. Preceding this event there is a symbolic ‘Prayer Walk” to Federation Square (see accompanying information). An ancestral wooden sculpture (see picture) has been carved by a recent West Papuan asylum seeker which will be carried to the theatre and later displayed at the Art Gallery or Museum. This carving is of great spiritual significance to the West Papuans. Although this event will be cultural and spiritual, the political significance is paramount.

As we know Jesus and the Prophets call us to stand on the side of the oppressed and suffering. Genocide is taking place in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian government while our government shakes hands, makes immoral treaties with Indonesia and turns a blind eye to the most terrible atrocities, putting trade and self interest as number one on the agenda. This is a chance for the church to show our leaders and country there is a higher call, and for people of conscience to make a stand. Australia’s track record regarding historic agreements on the destiny of West Papua involves serious betrayal (see New York Agreement, Act of Free Choice etc. in Sydney University report ‘Genocide in West Papua 2005’). In fact I don’t know how the churches have the audacity to pray for rain while not challenging our government and not standing by our nearest neighbour. I hope we will not be like those religious people in the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’.

I hope you will give this invitation your most careful and prayerful consideration. I hope you can come on this ‘Prayer March’ for the liberation of the suffering people of West Papua through peaceful means (you may also like to attend this most exotic, exciting, highly cultured concert). I believe we the followers of Jesus in this free and lucky country can help the people of West Papua through prayer and action.

Thursday 14 December 2006; 5.00pm

Stefanus Akanmor is from the Asmat lands of West Papua, and one of the forty-three asylum seekers whose traditional canoe beached on Cape York Peninsula on 17 January 2006. For the past four months he has been carving a magnificent totem for Tumbuna’s performance of ‘Peace Child’ at BMW Edge Theatre on 14 December 2006 at 7pm

Stefanus will carry his ‘bis pole’ to the theatre, leading a March for Peace and Justice along the north bank of the Yarra River. The walk begins at 5.30 pm, and ticket holders to the ‘Peace Child’ concert are invited to join him.

Concert bookings: ticketmaster
Ph. 1300136166
Enquiries 95102193 or

Stefanus is negotiating with the Museum of Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria, two institutions which are keen to display his work after the ‘Peace Child’ concert.