Indonesian history is full of figures with great achievements, and they originated from various areas, as parts of the country’s diaspora. West Papua has contributed to Indonesian history with a list of amazing achievements, such as in politics, arts, music, and educations.
Here are lists of West Papuan figures that have contributed, or are contributing, to various fields in Indonesia with their achievements.
Indonesian history is full of national heroes that came from different cultural backgrounds. Several prominent heroes with Papuan blood in Indonesia include:
- Frans Kaisiepo
Frans Kaisiepo was the person behind the name “Irian”, which he suggested in Malino Conference, a year after Indonesia declared West Papua as part of the country. He also became Papua’s governor from 1964 to 1973. His name was commemorated as an airport name in Biak, and his face recently adorned the newest Rp10,000 bill.
- Silas Papare
Silas Papare was the founder of Badan Perjuangan Irian, an organization initiated to help the newly-formed Indonesian government to reclaim Papua from Netherland. He was also one of the Indonesian delegations in 1962 New York Agreement, which resulted in steps toward West Papua’s reunion with Indonesia.
- Johannes Abraham Dimara
Johannes Abraham Dimara was a military officer who supported President Soekarno’s Trikora Operation, a series of strategies to reclaim West Papua from Netherland. He was also one of the Indonesian representatives in New York Agreement. He was the head of West Papua Freedom Organization (Organisasi Pembebasan Irian Barat), and had done covert operations with the Indonesian military.
Nowadays, there are more West Papuan people who hold important positions in Indonesia’s politics and civics. Several notable names are:
- Balthasar Kambuaya
Balthasar Kambuaya is a former Minister of Environment, who served during the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Before being appointed as a minister, he had also served as rector of Cenderawasih University in West Papua since 2005. He studies and writes extensively about small business in West Papua.
- Michael Manufandu
Michael Manufandu was a former Mayor of Jayapura (the capital of West Papua), and once served as the Ambassador of Indonesia for Colombia. He later became one of the advisors for President Joko Widodo about West Papua issues.
- Dominggus Mandacan
Dominggus Mandacan is the newly appointed West Papua Governor, who started his term on 12 May 2017. He had served as regent of Manokwari and Arfak Mountains. He is passionate about developing farming sectors in West Papua, which is a relatively new province in Indonesia.
Many athletes from West Papua have contributed to Indonesia’s world of sport. Some of them have even participated in international events. Notable names include:
- Raema Lisa Rumbewas
Lisa Rumbewas is a renowned name in Indonesia’s world of weightlifting. Born in Jayapura, her family is a pioneer of lifting sport in West Papua. She has participated in various international events, such as 2000 Sydney Olympic, 2004 Athena Olympic, and 2008 Beijing Olympic. She earned Silver in Sydney and Athena.
- Christian Worabay
Christian Worabay is a soccer player who currently joins Sriwijaya FC. Born in Serui, Yapen Island, he was dubbed the best player at Indonesian League 2005 competitions. He was also a member of the national team and participated in 2005 SEA Games.
- Rahmat Renwarin
Rahmat Renwarin is a wushu athlete who trains under Wushu Papua. He was one of the participants 2017 National Championship Jakarta, which was the precursor of athlete selection for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games.
- Billy Ramandey
Billy Ramandey is the first equestrian athlete from West Papua. He rose to prominence at 2016 Cinta Indonesia Open Championship in Banten. He was still an 11th grade student when competing professionally for the first time.
Several famous figures from West Papua have started to rise in prominence in other fields, from music to art and education. The most prominent figures in these fields include:
- Ari Sihasale
Ari Sihasale is a Papua-Maluku actor and singer who has been famous since the 90’s. He has also made a career as movie director and producer, with various movies that were based on life in Papua, many of them are family-friendly movies.
- Edo Kondologit
Edo Kondologit is one of Indonesia’s “singing treasure” from the east, famous for songs about peace and unity. His background as Christian gospel singer contributes to his singing skill and favorite theme.
- Hans Wospakrik
Has Wospakrik was a physicist who dabbled in theoretical physics. His contribution to science field included the use of math methods in understanding various physic theories and phenomena, especially in Einstein’s relativity model and elementary particles. His studies have been published in international journals, such as Journal of Mathematical Physics and Physical Review D.
- Marlina Flassy
Marlina Flassy is an anthropologist from Universitas Cenderawasih. She is famous for her extensive studies and activities related to women in Papua. She earned Golden Pin Award (Peniti Emas) in 2015 from Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology for her contribution to culture and women’s life.
These figures not only make West Papua proud; they also represent precious populations of Indonesian diaspora that have contributed greatly to the country’s history.