Category: Media Releases

Media release (Via BASE)

 28 July 2013

 Brisbane Aboriginal Embassy to host Freedom Flotilla to West Papua

The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy will be hosting travellers in the Freedom Flotilla from Lake Eyre to West Papua at our meeting place. The Freedom Flotilla will be welcomed to Jagera country at the sacred fire on Tuesday evening from 4pm on the 30th of July. The flotilla is expected to stay in Brisbane for a few days.

 The flotilla’s purpose is to bring attention to ongoing genocide in West Papua since the Indonesian invasion in 1971. A media blackout prevents foreign journalists from entering the country.

Jacob Rumbiak, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua, as well as Uncle Kevin Buzzacot of Arabunna country, a long time leading elder in the fight against uranium mining, are the forefront of the campaign and will be among the inspirational speakers at the ceremony on Tuesday.

 “We have a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters from across the water. We must bring the water and the fire, the love and the music to heal the country and move in solidarity,” said Buzzacott.

Water ceremonially gathered from the sacred mound springs in Arabunna country south of Lake Eyre is travelling with the flotilla to be united with its head waters.

“We work for world peace and justice, we start from our region, the Pacific,” said Rumbiak.

The Flotilla departs from Cairns in a few weeks, making its way up to the Torres Strait and across to West Papua.

Supporters in Brisbane are encouraged to come and pitch a tent with the convoy during its stay at the embassy. There will be music (courtesy of the travellers’ mobile PA), food via Food Not Bombs, and Chai, during their time in Brisbane.

For more info contact:

Uncle Kevin Buzzacot 0417 838 906 (Freedom Flotilla)

Boe Spearim 0424 610 492 (Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy)

For more details about the plight of West Papua and updates on the progress of the Flotilla goto:

3.30pm 25 July, 2013

Police Prosecution claims Talisman Saber protesters halted millions
of dollars of equipment and personnel

Greg Rolles and Graeme Dunstan appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning after blockading a convoy of US Marine Humvees inside Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area yesterday.

The police brief of evidence tendered in Graeme’s case stated that “By conducting these activities, the defendant has disrupted the exercise Talisman Saber 2013 and has caused many millions of dollars of equipment and personnel to be put on standby whilst they were dealt with. This was the intention of the defendant in a bid to bring attention to the cause which he passionately supports”.

The Prosecution applied for bail conditions aimed at preventing Mr Dunstan from inciting others to protest. However the Magistrate stated that it is “a free country” and refused the application.

Greg Rolles was charged with Trespass on Commonwealth Land under the Commonwealth Crimes Act, to which he entered a plea of guilty. An hour before court Greg was also charged with a crime under the Defence Act (1903) relating to the possession of a photographic device, one he will contest. His matters have been adjourned for two weeks, and Greg was released on bail.

Graeme Dunstan was also charged with trespass, possessing a photographic device and breaching bail conditions resulting from his involvement in a Ploughshares action in which an Australian army Tiger Attack helicopter was disabled with a blow from a mattock during the 2011 Talisman Sabre.

He pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined a total of $940. In his pre-sentencing statement, his lawyers tabled print outs of Graeme’s Peacebus website which he said detailed 38 years of committed peaceful action (

In his final statement, the Magistrate referred to the Nuremberg principles which compel citizens to disobey bad or unjust laws. He indicated that he did not see that those principles applied here.

There are currently 28,000 Australian and US troops undertaking joint military training in Australia, with a focus on the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.

Mr Rolles and Mr Dunstan cite their opposition to the current wars that Australia had been led into by the US military alliance as key reasons for their action.

“Talisman Saber is about the US military training the Australian military to fight future US wars,” said Mr Dunstan.

For further media comment, contact Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Photos of the pair on their release and time in Shoalwater Bay are available on request

Media Release from Peace Convergence:


Thursday 25 July, 2013

Talisman Sabre protesters in court this morning after a night in jail

The two peace pilgrims who entered Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area with an aim to disrupt the Talisman Saber military training exercise will appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning  (Thursday July 25).
Greg Rolles (31 yrs, school teacher, Brisbane) and Graeme Dunstan (71 yrs, retired, grey nomad) were arrested yesterday following a 30 hour Peace Pilgrimage on the Training Area. They have both been charged with Trespass on Commonwealth Land.  Mr Dunstan has also been charged with an offence relating to the taking of photographs in Shoalwater Bay.
The pair were held over night in police custody.  Mr Dunstan has been refused police bail due to outstanding charges relating to his involvement in the 2011 Tiger Ploughshares – the disarmament of a military helicopter. (The trial for this matter is scheduled for 19thAugust in the Rockhampton District Court –

Photos of their time inside Shoalwater Bay are on the Pace Convergence website and include pictures of one of the pilgrims blockading a road and stopping a convoy of Humvees, a photo of one of them near roadsigns, and photos of them both praying at a shrine established by other protesters in 2011.

There are currently 28,000 Australian and US troops undertaking joint military training in Australia, with a focus on the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.

Mr Rolles and Mr Dunstan cite their opposition to the current wars that Australia has joined the US in as key reasons for their action. Their full statements is posted below.

For further media comment, contact 0431 519 577.
More Photos are available at
Graeme Dunstan and Greg Rolles about to enter Shoalwater Bay training area

Graeme Dunstan and Greg Rolles about to enter Shoalwater Bay training area


Graeme Dunstan’s Walk On Statement
Talisman Saber 2013

My name is Graeme Dunstan. I am a grey nomad, 71 years old. My vehicle is, which is both a battered old van and a website where I blog Peacebus protest actions.

It is my intention to trespass onto the Shoalwater Bay Military Area and, by creative nonviolent actions, do the best I can to disrupt the military exercises, demonstrate resistance to the culture of war and preparation for war and create a counter narrative to the propaganda of the military.

I note that after 13 years of unwanted, bloody, costly and futile war in Afghanistan and Iraq that there has been no genuine debate about the cause, conduct or like benefit of the wars in the Parliament nor has there been any consultation with the Australian people.

These wars have never been popular, indeed hundreds of thousands of citizens came out in the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 only to be ignored. As the former Senator pointed out, that polls indicate that over the years something like 72% of Australian people wanted our troops out of Afghanistan but 92% of elected representatives have insisted they stay.

The terrible truth is that our politicians are more loyal to the demands of the US Embassy in Canberra than they are to the Australian people.

And the political parties and the corporate media conspire to keep the wars off the political agenda.

What can a just man do?

Well I choose to act justly by challenging the war machine and acting for peace.

In the face of endless US wars and cringing obeisance to the US military alliance by Australian politicians such as PM Rudd, I choose to stand tall and be seen as an honourable elder, demonstrating courage and setting a good example for younger men and women.

For the benefit of all beings, large and small, near and far, seen and unseen, born and yet to be born, I choose to be a peacemaker in this time of perpetual war.

End the lies, I say. End the wars. End the US military alliance.

Graeme Dunstan


Greg Rolles’ Walk On Statement
Talisman Saber 2013

Today I have entered the Shoalwater Bay Area in protest against the Talisman Sabre War Rehearsals.

My aim is to disrupt the Talisman Sabre Exercises. I am doing this to demonstrate my commitment to nonviolent confrontation of injustice.

The misnomer of Australia and the US being a ‘defence force’, needs to be challenged. Since at least 2001, the Australian and US military forces have taken and continue to take many innocent lives and waste money that could be used in, amongst others, our ailing education system. This is a theft of common treasure squandered in the pursuit of global power, which has demonstrated the opposite of its desired effect. The Middle East and Eastern Asia are now much more unstable and much worse places to live than they were before 2001. Our military men and women have not been used to help people, but to destroy lives, families, cities and countries.

As a Christian, as a teacher with a responsibility to our children and as a citizen of the globe, I am morally compelled to take direct action against this injustice.

I am doing this in protest of the US/Australian Military Alliance. I am a Secondary School history teacher. The history peddled by our political leaders of Australia being saved by the USA in 1942 is not an accurate history, as demonstrated by the statement made by Peter Stanley about the “Battle for Australia” Day proclamation in 2008.

I am acting outside of the law for an independent and peaceful Australia. I believe that as a nation we can do better.

We can do better than follow the US into another Dirty War. The Afghan War has cost us 40 Australian Soldiers, 268 wounded and at least 15 suicides this year by veterans. This is not to mention the millions of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, the $31 Billion and severe environmental impacts of these wars.

We can do better than buying our Allies Joint Strike Fighters at an estimated cost of nearly $1.4 Billion. This is money that could have contributed to the Gonski review instead of being stripped from our universities.

We can do better than cooperating with the US in these War Rehearsals. Australia has the opportunity to be a genuine leader in cooperation and peace in the South Pacific and South East Asian blocs, to build stronger ties with our large Northern neighbour, China. We should have games focused on developing ties with our region and building peace, rather than remaining a part of the expensive, wasteful and destructive American War Machine.

I want to teach our children the ways of peace and cooperation, not war and death. I have worked with the kids who will be our future and for their sakes, we need to do better now.

Greg Rolles