Documentary Transforms Sydney Benefit Gig Into Global Event

29 January 2016 | 7:59 pm | Daniel Cribb

Punks For West Papua gets a massive upgrade in 2016

A documentary from Sydney musician-turned-filmmaker Anthony ‘Ash’ Brennan has seen a local charity gig for West Papuan blow up into a global event.

The benefit show, dubbed Punks For West Papua, was initiated by NSW act Diggers With Attitude to highlight the ongoing genocide in West Papua, and quickly spread to other Australian states, seeing 50 bands in seven cities June of last year.

Brennan filmed the shows and decided to use the footage for a documentary, and after interviewing musicians involved, two-time Nobel peace prize nominee Benny Wenda, journalist Hugh Lunn and more, caught the attention of the United Liberation Movement For West Papua.

“Since the film’s come out, punk bands from all around the world have contacted the campaign and have contacted us to start their own shows,” Brennan told

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Jody [Bartolo] from Diggers With Attitude is in negotiations with the campaign to have a global Punks For West Papua for June of this year, so we’re very excited."

Funds from the sale of the documentary are being donated to the United Liberation Movement For West Papua, but Brennan said it’s more about raising awareness for the cause.

“With more people aware of it, hopefully we can see some change. As a nation, we can then pressure the government. It will become an issue at an election.”

Punks For West Papua: The Documentary was released January 11 and is available for download now.