3CR CRAM guide 2012: It’s 3.30am in Washington DC when Voice of West Papua hits the air in Melbourne, but the show’s founder, Herman Wainggai, rarely misses it. “I’m so excited about this program!’ he says. Herman, one of 43 West Papuan asylum seekers whose arrival in Australia, by outrigger canoe, in 2006 caused a diplomatic incident with Indonesia, last year established what is the first West Papuan radio show in the world, but he’s recently relocated to the US capital to ramp up his political advocacy. “I’m away from my community, away from my family, living as a single person in the United States,” Herman says, “But listening to the music, listening to this show on 3CR every Monday, brings the memories back.”
Music plays a major part in the program, which interweaves updates on what’s happening inside West Papua, discussion of the international politics around its situation and information on community events in Melbourne with songs by Papuan acts Black Brothers, the Lani Singers and Arnold Ap, PNG performer George Telek and local artist David Bridie.