|The West Papuans' boat (Damien Baker)|
They had fled their homeland just 200 kilometres north of Australia, saying the Indonesian government was committing genocide against their people. Their recognition as political refugees by the then Howard government sparked a brief diplomatic rift.
West Papuans have been seeking independence since Indonesia invaded in 1962, at the end of 130 years of Dutch colonial rule.
Queensland correspondent Stefan Armbruster spoke with the leader of the West Papuan asylum seekers, Herman Wanggai who is now campaigning for their cause in Washington DC.