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Jakarta Post

Papua: Opportunity in diversity

  • Peter O’Neill

    Katoomba, New South Wales

Katoomba, New South Wales   /   Thu, October 8 2020   /  01:00 am
Thousands of people in Dogiyai regency in Papua rally against racism and demand referendum on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (Handout/-)

Last week The Jakarta Post editorial stated, “To build Papua anew, Jakarta needs to listen to voices that have so far been left unheard” (Sept. 28). My question is, what does “anew” look like? A recent Zoom seminar organized by the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra in cooperation with the Indonesian Academics and Researcher Network (IARNA) may provide an achievable starting point for this national conversion. The online seminar was organized to discuss several questions, one of which "How can cultural valves accelerate the development of Papua”.  The keynote speaker was Papuan Gracia Billy Mambrasar, special advisor to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. One of Mambrasar’s discussion points was that respect for local values builds trust, and that in turn, this trust creates opportunities in education and entrepreneurship. The ...