Human Rights & Human Security Journalism, Advocacy and Media, Training and Consultancy for Melanesia

Urgent Help required for exciting new Mobile Human Security software and training Project and ongoing work

Dear Friends,

I am hoping this appeal finds you well and inspired to help create some positive and lasting solutions to some of the more intractable human security issues in our region.  This is a call out for support to create new tools, training and opportunities for citizen media and human rights worker safety, and to continue to assist people to get out their stories, safely, widely, and in real time.
I have only just learned that sometimes one does actually have to talk about the good results I have achieved in order to further the impact of those gains, and to bring others into the wonderful world of standing strong with your friends as they fight for their freedom..

Anyway, Here is an update on my work and a call for support to help sustain it and me to continue it.

If you wish to assist me directly, you can help in several ways: I urgently need funds raised to pay for the ongoing, and significant costs associated with my work, such as phone bills, internet costs, technology requirements, workshopping costs, tutorial and training development and the costs associated with verifying, publicising and activating on human rights abuses;

You can donate by either making a deposit directly into my bank account, (Bendigo Back N.W. Chesterfield BSB 633-000 Account 137286969); or by copying and pasting the following link into your browser:

2010 is seeing substantial new challenges in assisting those who wish to creatively and non-violently document, disseminate, organise, protect and resist against human security and rights violations across Melanesia. This is not just in West Papua but increasingly outside of the area traditionally preyed on by the Indonesian military illegal business mafia juggernaut.

My main focus this year is to strategically assist those who wish to create change on the ground through targeted “train the trainer” media and safety training; introductions to international media, and of course the continued transformation of West Papua Media Alerts into a fully fledged professional news agency and information clearing house run by West Papuan citizen and professional journalists.

The past months have exceedingly busy in bringing on stream new projects such as Project Cockatoo (more details on that below), and also for fixing and briefing journalists for articles and missions to Papua, most of which have been undercover (at least till they publish!).

I have had a major success in fixing the first major international editorial and story on the proposed Merauke Integrated Food Estate, which appeared in the Fairfax Press. This has caused a massive flow on effect of international pressure, one of which has been the Norwegian Government tying in its aid to the Indonesian government (where it is being paid to stop deforestation) to the Merauke Food Estate (see ). There is only a slim likelihood that this will be enforced, but nevertheless I am proud to have provided effective solidarity to a people in need of it. I strongly encourage people to take action by looking at the issue closely and contacting your elected representatives and of course the companies that sell the palm oil and illegal timber. (Shortly will be providing a page on “what you can do”in relation to largest single wholesale destruction of pristine lowland rainforest the world has seen for 20 years)

I have also been developing in-country briefing / mission dossier products for media (watch this space for availability)….. If only those French journos arrested in Jayapura had come to me and got our assistance and current situation security assessments on media safety for West Papua, maybe they wouldn’t have been arrested.

Please watch this space closely over the next few weeks for two major stories on West Papua and Indonesian intelligence activities to break, both of which have taken over 18 months of intensive (and expensive) investigations that have been exhaustive and involved collecting witness testimony from all across the Asia Pacific region. ANy help paying for these investigations would be highly appreciated

Project Cockatoo.

I have also been further developing Project Cockatoo, wearing holes in my shoes (literally) pounding the pavements, but getting many new supporters and endorsees.

Project Cockatoo (Your Voice is Your Weapon) is a major new initiative from a highly experienced global team of human rights workers, field investigators, new media activists, journalists and web folk to develop :

  • a suite of solutions, both technical and training related, to the security issues affecting the lives and works of human rights defenders and civil society.
  • an easily deployable cross platform mobile security software suite to enable real time accurate human rights and security analysis and reporting; with simple training required for effective mass deployment; where realtime information can be shared with zero danger to the source or uploader. It is utilising already proven technologies, and putting them all together into a single app… free for download or distribution on any phone. So we can create two, three, many Neda, Santa Cruz, or the Tianeman tank hero moments.
  • a three phase, long term project conducting:
  • media/safety training/ on ground research with tutorial / training material development;
  • mobile human security documentation software suite development;
  • implementation and monitoring

Please see the intellectual property notice at the end of this post.

Project Cocaktoo seeks to discuss, collaborate, and provide solutions that will be first piloted in West Papua, and then hopefully exported to wherever the need arises. We have asked the questions that not many have asked, looking closely at the recent lessons in Iran, Belarus, and West Papua, amongst other repressive contexts:

In developing a software suite, how do we avoid the Twitter dilemma? That is, what you publish through mobile technology in real-time can easily get you killed or disappeared in real-time. Is there a way in which human rights defenders can use a suite of tools free of intrusion from Deep Packet Inspection and other surveillance tools?


As part of the Project, we will be putting together 2-3 day training workshops for key organic media workers on the ground in West Papua and PNG (and Australia), covering following issues:

  • citizen media and human rights new media training (utilising current best practice personal and communications security techniques and web activism and effective internet portals);
  • safe information gathering and investigative technique;
  • human security investigation methodology;
  • professional journalistic practice in new media;
  • information quality assurance;
  • Protection of sources.
  • Video abuse documentation techniques;
  • Secure Transfer of evidence;
  • Social Networking, Website development, security and IP anonymity
  • Training the trainers;
  • Identification of major current and future challenges to safe information dissemination;

If you would like to be a part of putting this together, learning, or sharing, please contact me at

Explanatory material, brochures and some video presentations on the Project will be soon forthcoming, as will a forum for suggestions on the Project, a how you can help page, and contacts for those who wish to become directly involved in training (giving or receiving), film making, or technical assistance.

We are seeking creatively minded people who wish to work. (At this stage we are desperately seeking some awesome graphic designers to help us creative some powerful imagery, so if you are one, or know of one, that can offer their time I would LOVE to hear from you!!!).

Project Cockatoo can have a much wider impact than just West Papua, and we have a product at the end of it that just might make a significant step towards human rights and citizen media power and safety. There is already significant interest, and the odd things is, is nobody anywhere, has thought of what we are proposing.

It is existing currently as a project only, not as a registered NGO, but is to be auspiced under a European NGO whose core collective I am a member (we are currently negotiating with auspicing and fundraising groups in Australia also).

Details of the formal launch of Project Cockatoo will be announced soon.

We are working around the clock to develop a web portal for the Project, but are holding off until we get the security right from the outset. Though we are set to develop an innovative technology throughout the project that when perfected will be shared with those who need it.. We do not want to expose any holes before we have ironed them out.

The Project is seeking seed funding of $350,000, but to get us to seeded properly, we need to get physically face to face with donors, partners and developers. This is where the costs go up as I personally need to get to Europe, North America and the Middle East in order to engage with funders. As all my own cash has gone to daily work, I do need your help. Frequent Flyer points are also welcomed but if everybody in this group contributed just $30 each, that is almost $5000 toward a very useful project, which will increase the call of the Cockatoo and the momentum of its flight.. If you can introduce this work and project to more friends, then we can fast forward the implementation time.

I am planning to hold small film nights on the use of citizen media in West Papua, up the East Coast of Australia over the next two months – 30- 40 people each to allow for discussion and involvement. We have several new short films to sho including, Forgotten Brd of Paradise, A Secret War, Pride of Warriors and some innovative short films associated with the new film Strange Birds of Paradise (to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival next weekend) All proceeds will be going to Project Cockatoo.

If you would like to set one up in your location please let me know, and I would be happy to give a talk in person. Also watch this space for some winter benefit gigs of awesome and inspired music that will be held in a town near you soon up the East Coast of Australia. (Once again if you would like to help, help is always appreciated).

Camera Appeal

There is also a requirement at this point for us to supply video cameras, smartphones, recent laptops (in good working order with good battery life) and digital still cameras, in addition to to DSLRs (Nikon D60 or similar). If you have any spares, old (but fully compatible and working), promotional cameras, or can afford to buy a camera to donate, please contact me. I will be putting out a more detailed appeal on the cameras shortly. All of these will be taken on our next trip to Papua.

Finally, if you think some of your own friends will support, then please encourage them to donate and join Facebook cause. at
with solidarity we can be more effective.

thank you in advance appreciation

Nick Chesterfield

West Papua media/ Human Rights Worker

Project Cockatoo Co-ordinator

PS Once again,
If you wish to assist me directly, you can help in several ways: I urgently need funds raised to pay for the ongoing, and significant costs associated with my work, such as phone bills, internet costs, technology requirements, workshopping costs, tutorial and training development and the costs associated with verifying, publicising and activating on human rights abuses;

You can donate by either making a deposit directly into my bank account, (Bendigo Back N.W. Chesterfield BSB 633-000 Account 137286969); or by copying and pasting the following link into your browser:


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