1. Background to group/activist

Herman Wainggai is a human rights and political activist who uses non-violent means to create awareness about the situation in West Papua. A former refugee and political prisoner, Mr Wainggai is now based in Australia and works as a political advisor, educator, and mentor to the student movement in West Papua as well as providing mentorship to the West Papuan community in Melbourne. His other role is as a diplomatic representative of the West Papua National Authority (WPNA), an organisation which advocates nonviolent ways of resolving the political conflict that has persisted in West Papua since the Indonesian government took control of the territory in 1963.

2. What vision do you have for your country?

For the people of West Papua to live a life of freedom and independence.

3. How do you contribute to this?

Mr Wainggai comes from a tradition of disciplined orators, craftsmen and musicians, and believes people's dignity and their culture are fundamental to the West Papuan self-determination project. Mr Wainggai, along with other members of the West Papuan community in Melbourne, works to raise awareness of the political situation in West Papua and promote the protection of human rights of the West Papuan people.

A current focus for Mr Wainggai is to push for the release of the estimated 100 West Papuan political prisoners currently being held in Indonesian jails.

4. What innovative ways are there for humanitarian agencies to better support your work?

Write to the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, urging him to release political prisoners in West Papua.

Write letters to politicians and newspapers and ring up talk-back radio in support of West Papua.

Write to the Australian Prime minister, as a partner in the Lombok treaty, to press for mediation and an end to suppression of human rights in West Papua.

5. Website: http://ajourneytofreedom.net/