AETFA-SA began its life as Campaign for an Independent East Timor, SA Inc (CIET) in 1975. The name was changed to Australia East Timor Friendship Association, SA Inc in 2002 as Timor-Leste finally regained its independence.
The objectives of the association are:
- To work for the human rights and continuing self-determination of the East Timorese people;
- to assist the Timorese to rebuild their country and their lives; and
- to promote public awareness in Australia of the history, culture and contemporary situation in Timor Leste.
AETFA-SA takes an active role in advocacy and fundraising, including:
- Continuing support for the achievement by the Timor Leste Govt. in winning a just maritime boundary and sharing of the maritime oil and gas resources between Australia and Timor Leste; and protesting the prosecution and persecution of Witness ‘K’ and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, for revealing the criminal act of the Howard Govt who bugged the T-L Cabinet rooms in 2004 to gain an unfair advantage in the negotiations re the sharing of the oil and gas revenues.
- Justice for victims of Gross Human Rights Abuses in Timor Leste and the region by:
a) seeking compensation from the Indonesian, the United States and the Australian governments
b) seeking the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal to try high-ranking members of the Indonesian military and government accused of committing heinous crimes 1975 – 1999
c) seeking an end to Australian military and security links with the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) until Indonesia ceases its repression in West Papua, Acheh and in other parts of the Indonesian archipelago
- Support and fundraising for the Working Women’s Centre in Timor Leste
- Support and fundraising for APHEDA (Trade Union Aid) projects directed at youth in Timor Leste
- Promotion of East Timor’s exports including coffee and crafts
- Providing information about East Timor (books, music, videos etc)
- Support for and solidarity with Timorese students studying in South Australia
AETFA-SA can provide information to people considering going to Timor Leste to participate in its development, and provides a means for Australians who have returned from working there to keep in touch. AETFA-SA seeks to work with all groups and individuals assisting the people of Timor Leste and the country’s development by promoting appropriate and sustainable outcomes that avoid dependency.