Author Archives: mjudd

Stop Cheating Timor Leste and Remember Their WW11 Sacrifice

Australia East Timor Friendship Association South Australia Inc



Since WW1, ANZAC Day has become an important day to Australians when we recognise those who died or suffered in the many wars in which Australia has participated. It is also a day when we remember those from other nations who fought alongside Australians.

WW2 is considered to be the great war against the tyranny of fascism and Nazism.

Australian soldiers fought in many theatres of this war alongside people from other nations in the struggle for freedom. One of those was the great struggle in 1942.against Japanese fascism in Portuguese Timor – now known as Timor-Leste.

“Sparrow Force”, a small force of only 400 Australian soldiers was sent to Timor several days after the bombing of Pearl Harbour to provide a defence should Japan invade. When it did, the Australians faced a superior force of 20,000. With the magnificent assistance of the East Timorese, the Australians fought using guerilla warfare tactics. During the fighting, the Japanese lost about 1000 soldiers and the Australians lost 40.

Following the withdrawal of the Australians after about a year of fighting, Japanese troops rounded up people from villages known to have helped the Australians and carried out mass executions of about 40,000 East Timorese .During WW2, the East Timorese lost approximately 70,000 people out of a population of 500,000. In comparison, Australia lost 40,000 loves out of 7 million.

Because of this great sacrifice, appreciative Australians who fought there dropped leaflets over Portuguese Timor which said “Your friends will not forget you!”

Imagine how these veterans felt in 1975 when the forces of the fascist Indonesian dictatorship led by General Suharto illegally invaded and occupied East Timor for 24 years with Australian government support? They were deeply ashamed at Australia’s betrayal of these people who had given them so much support and made huge sacrifices.

The Indonesian military (TNI) carried out a final orgy of killing and destruction following the 1999 UN supervised independence referendum. In response, the UN INTERFET peace force in which Australia played a dominant role intervened and the TNI troops were forced out of the country to the joy of the East Timorese and their Australian friends.

As a result of the 24 year occupation, almost a third of the population was wiped out, the East Timorese suffered genocide and sickening human rights abuses and 80% of their infrastructure was destroyed.

We now realise that the reason for the betrayal by our political leaders of the East Timorese was that they wanted to take much of their oil and gas from their 1/2 of the Timor Sea in collusion with oil companies.

Soon after independence in 2002, the leaders of Australia and Timor-Leste began negotiations over a maritime border and access to resources in the Timor Sea. Shamefully, our leaders sought to cheat the young nation of much of its resources by refusing to agree on a maritime border that conformed to the International Law of the Sea and they also tried to bully it into accepting a very unfair arrangement regarding the sharing of resources.

This behaviour also involved Australian security spying on the Timor-Leste give Australia an unfair advantage. However, Timor-Leste took Australia to the International Permanent Court of Arbitration when it realised that it had illegally spied against it In March 2018, the Court agreed and ruled that Australia had to conform to a border in the Timor Sea that conformed to the Law of the Sea and allow Timor-Leste to have the profits from its 1/2 of the Timor Sea and an agreement between the two nations recognising this was signed.

However,recently, it has been reported that Australia has yet to implement the agreement and is siphoning off millions of Timor-Leste’s oil revenue

Estimates suggest the revenue taken by Australia since the signing of the treaty now totals more than it has given to Timor-Leste in foreign aid, and more than Timor-Leste’s annjual expenditure on health. This is scandalous when it is also realised that the Timorese organisation La’o Hamutuk claims that Australia already owed Timor-Leste $4 billion for oil and gas taken from its 1/2 of the Timor Sea before the agreement was signed.

On ANZAC Day 2019, as we remember those who died in wars against tyranny – both Australians and its allies – we should also remember the suffering of our East Timorese brothers and sisters who live in the poorest nation in SE Asia.

This is a day that all fair-minded Australians salute the people of Timor-Leste and show them gratitude for their WW2 sacrifice for us. This should mean that we call on the Australian Government to apologise to them for Australia’s disgraceful betrayal of them since WW2 and as Jose Ramos Horta, the Nobel peace Laureate and former Timor-Leste PM and president said to pay them monies Australia has accrued from their resources.

As we are only weeks before a federal election, we should be encouraging fellow Australians to only vote for the candidates who are prepared to honour Australia’s debts to Timor-Leste and who will support the dropping of the charges against Witness K and Bernard Collaery.- two great Australians who helped Timor win justice and who could face imprisonment for undermining Australia’s security..


Andrew (Andy) Alcock

Information Officer


Phone: 61 8 83710480

0457 827 014



( AETFA SA was originally the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA until Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002)

affiliated with the national Timor Sea Justice Campaign

Oz STILL ripping off Timor Leste!

Delay in ratifying treaty means Australia has taken more than it has given Timor-Leste in foreign aid     Helen Davidson

Former president says he has faith his country’s far richer neighbour will not quarrel over revenue it wrongly received     Helen Davidson

Report on Book Launch

Professor Clinton Fernandes’ book “Island off the Coast of Asia” was launched by Bernard Collaery at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College on Saturday, 13 April, 2019. The Timor Sea Justice Forum organised the event, generously and hospitably assisted by College staff.

Nearly 200 people attended, including senior journalists, former diplomats and judges, longterm campaigners, interested citizens and members of the local Timorese community.

Susan Connelly acted as MC and invited Professor Fernandes to open the proceedings. He described how the Australian pursuit of national security is embedded in its economic interests which underpins the whole gamut of its global relationships. The Australian desire to remain secure equates to protecting the economic interests of powerful players and thus requires cooperation with and dependence on powerful nations which share similar economic interests. These facts receive detailed treatment in his book, a whole chapter of which is devoted to the relationship with East Timor (Timor-Leste) particularly concerning the oil and gas issues of the Timor Sea.

Two points which marvellously focused the attention of the audience and which are detailed in the book were:

1. The simultaneous use of Australian security services to investigate Islamist terrorism and spy on Timorese negotiators. The fact that Australia diverted resources and personnel away from the terrorist concerns of the early 2000s towards an operation for financial gain in Timor-Leste have raised major questions, especially when carried out under cover of a humanitarian project;

2. A comparison between Australian and Norwegian approaches to maritime resources. Australia’s continental shelf was mapped at government expense and the findings handed over to oil and gas companies. The recompense to Australian coffers from one of the largest gas producing areas was $27 billion between 1984-2017. The Australian public thus absorbed the costs and the risks, while corporations received the profits. The much smaller Norwegian maritime areas were mapped and mined by government-owned companies, netting the much smaller Norwegian nation 1.2 trillion dollars. Thus the people of Norway shouldered the costs and the risks, but also reaped the profits.

Bernard Collaery was then invited to launch the book. In an absorbing talk on matters which are all on the public record, he spoke of being charged by the government in relation to the alleged actions of his client Witness K concerning the 2004 Treaty negotiations with TimorLeste. He alluded to some dilemmas posed in this situation to the lawyer/client relationship. He explained that his long experience dealing with substantial matters of trust does not sit well with the refusal of government to provide him with the brief of evidence against him.

Responses from the audience revealed astonishment at the conduct of the hearings which have been held so far. Questions from journalists and others drew further clarifications from Clinton and Bernard.

The enormity of the pressure on Bernard, his client and their families, and his livelihood became clear. Equally clear became the implications of this matter on the people of Australia. Serious concerns include the rule of law, the practice of law, the interpretation of “national security”, the rights of citizens, the consequences of rushed legislation, the susceptibility of democracy to manipulation, and the protection of the privileged and the powerful. It became clear also that an economic fixation damaged the Australian relationship with Timor-Leste, and ignored the abiding importance of the shared history and geography of the two nations.

The Attorney-General has the power to discontinue the prosecution under s.71 of the Judiciary Act 1903.

Therefore, everyone is urged to lobby Mark Dreyfus MP in this parliamentary caretaker period.

“Island off the Coast of Asia” by Professor Clinton Fernandes is available from Monash University Press. It costs $29.95, post free in Australia.

Gil Scrine is filming Clinton Fernandes’ book “Reluctant Saviour”, a study which presents a factual account of Australia’s dubious role in Timor-Leste’s independence. Go to this link to support and be informed:


Hi members and supporters of Timor Leste
Details of our annual film fundraiser for the Working Womens’ Centre in Timor Leste are below. Prior to the film showing there will be short updates on the WWC and on the attempt by the Federal Govt to silence the ‘whistle-blowers’ on the Howard/Downer Govt’s illegal bugging of T-L’s Cabinet rooms in 2004 which gave Australia an unfair advantage in dividing the income from the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.
Hope you can come along – it’s also a good social event, food provided and the bar is open.
Regards and solidarity

Ladies in Black:
WWC Timor-Leste Movie Fundraiser

Join us in this fundraiser for the Working Women’s Centre in Timor-Leste!

This event is jointly hosted by Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA (AETFA), SA Unions, Apheda: Union Aid Abroad SA Activist Committee, and WWC SA.

Set in the summer of 1959, when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever, a shy schoolgirl (Lisa) takes a summer job at the prestigious Sydney department store, Goode’s. There she meets the ‘ladies in black’, who will change her life forever.Beguiled and influenced by Magda, the vivacious manager of the high-fashion floor, and befriended by fellow sales ladies Patty and Fay, Lisa is awakened to a world of possibilities. As Lisa grows from a bookish schoolgirl to a glamorous and positive young woman, she herself becomes a catalyst for a cultural change in everyone’s
WHEN: WEDNESDAY 10 OCTOBER 2018from 5.30pm – 10pm
(5.30pm: Drinks, nibbles & speeches)
(Movie starts at 6.45pm)WHERE: Capri Theatre (141 Goodwood Rd – Goodwood SA)
Tickets only
$20 general admission
$15 concession


Tickets available at the door

Ph 0469 359199 for more detail




I can’t come but would like to make a donation
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Dear Friends in solidarity with Timor-Leste and other peoples who have suffered from Indonesian military barbarity with US and allied support

As we get closer to 12 September 2018, when the rescheduled trial of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery for conspiracy takes place in Canberra, it is good that the on-line news service Crikey posted the article below by Sophie Raynor which reminds us of the shameful way that Australian governments have treated the East Timorese, who so courageously supported us during WW2.

Below is just a reminder of that history:

* support for the invasion of East Timor by the Indonesian military (TNI) with a loss of almost a third of the population, gross human rights violations and 80% of the infrastructure destroyed until circumstances virtually forced the Howard Government to be a “reluctant saviour” when Australia played a major role in the INTERFET force that entered East Timor in 1999 after the 1999 UN supervised independence referendum

* attempts by Alexander Downer and John Howard to bully the newly independent government of Timor-Leste into a very unfair arrangement in the Timor Sea which attempted to deny the East Timorese access to some of its resources in the Sea and a maritime border that conformed to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea UNCLOS). This basically meant that the wealthiest nation in the region was attempting to take resources that rightly belonged to the poorest nation in the region.

* the illegal spying on the Timor-Leste Government by ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) to gain a commercial advantage by Australia during the negotiations

* when the Timor-Leste Government justifiably protested to the International Permanent Court of Arbitration about the spying and the unfair arrangement, George Brandis (then Australia’s attorney general) ordered ASIO (Australia Security and Intelligence Organisation) to raid lawyer, Bernard Collaery’s office to remove important documentation about the case and the home of Witness K (the Australian intelligence officer who reported the illegal bugging) to confiscate his passport. These actions were obviously undertaken to pervert the course of justice in the International Court – a shameful hypocrisy of a government that frequently preaches to others about the rule of law!

* then in 2018, when Timor-Leste had a great moral victory over the Australian Government at the International Permanent Court of Arbitration in relation to these matters, the Australian Government decided to charge Witness K and Bernard Collaery for conspiracy.

The only conspiracy of Witness K and Bernard Collaery was to stop Australia from unfairly cheating Timor-Leste and ensure that it could attain a fair internationally recognised maritime border as other nations do.

Also, since then the Australian Government has been silent about the estimated $5 billion worth of resources it has taken from Timor-Leste ‘s 1/2 of the Timor Sea. The article refers to this matter and stresses that while Australia is the highest aid donor to Timor-Leste with $98.1 million being allocated during 2018 -2019, this is only a very small amount compared with the estimated $5 billion worth of Timor’s resources that Australia has taken.

In the article, it is good to see that Sophie Raynor has mentioned statements by Juvinal Dias from the Timor-Leste activist group Movimentu Kontra Okupassaun Tasi (MKOTT) which very accurately describe the behaviour of the Australian Government in relation to its dealings with the East Timorese. Australian solidarity groups should applaud the actions of MKOTT. It recently organised a candle light vigil out side the Australian Embassy in Dili when Julie Bishop was there.


Please sign the Avaaz and GetUp on-line petitions at the following websites and encourage others to do the same:

Write letters to newspapers and/or speak about the issue on talk-back radio.

Move resolutions of support for Witness K and Bernard Collaery at your political party sub branch, union, church, community group etc. and ask those organisations to issue media releases and public statements about the issue.

[Many ALP sub branches have already moved resolutions to go to the 2018 ALP National Conference despite the fact that ALP MPs took no effective action to support Timor-Leste winning justice in the Timor Sea or giving support to Witness K and Bernard Collaery.]


Please take action to ensure that the shameful action against Witness K and Bernard Collaery are dropped.

Thanks to Dave Arkins (Sec. AWPA SA) for sending me the story.

Warm regards

In solidarity

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer

Phone:    61 8 83710480
0457 827 014

AETFA SA – 43 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY WITH TIMOR-LESTE FOR INDEPENDENCE & JUSTICE (AETFA SA was originally the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA until Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002)


‘Hypocrite minister’: Timor-Leste activists blast Bishop for prosecution of Witness K
Sophie Raynor    Freelance journalist   Crikey   20 August 2018

The Timor-Leste activist group that condemned the Australian government over the prosecution of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery has blasted the government for its hypocrisy following Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s long-delayed July visit to the country, during which Bishop optimistically promised a “new chapter” for the countries’ beleaguered relationship.
Speaking to Crikey from Dili this week, Juvinal Dias from the activist group Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor (MKOTT) equated Australia’s “undemocratic” prosecution of Collaery and Witness K to the rule of Indonesian dictator Suharto, drawing an uncomfortable connection to the brutal 24-year-long occupation of Timor-Leste by Indonesia.
Australia’s tacit support of that occupation allowed it to gain an undue share of oil and gas in the Timor Sea after the generous Timor Sea Gap agreement with Indonesia came into effect in 1991. Australia received 50% of the resource wealth from an area now found to be almost 100% within Timor-Leste’s boundary.
“Indonesia came to kill people, Australia occupied the sea and stole the wealth,” Dias told Crikey of the twin threats to Timor-Leste during its struggle for independence.
“For MKOTT, what we see from what Julie Bishop is doing is a continuation of Australia shutting its mouth on the invasion of Timor in 1975. Australia supported the invasion. [It] is a continuation of genocide in Timor, occupation of Timor-Leste, domination of Timor-Leste, stealing from Timor-Leste.”
When former ASIS intelligence agent Witness K revealed that Australia had bugged Timor-Leste’s cabinet during oil and gas treaty negotiations in 2004, Timor-Leste tore up an early treaty between the countries and launched espionage proceedings against Australia at the Hague.
The case was later dropped as an act of good faith and a new treaty delineating a permanent maritime boundary was signed in March this year. But the prosecution of the case’s key witness and his lawyer, revealed by Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie under parliamentary privilege in June, casts a new light over the countries’ relationship.
“The criminalisation of activists is part of a colonial or regime behaviour, not from a democratic country,” Dias said. “We know that Australia is a nation that always talks about democracy, a pioneer of democracy, a pioneer for freedom of expression, human rights, good governance, peace and other things. A country like Australia, which is economically and politically strong, should be an example to a small country like Timor-Leste.”
From the hilltop village of Tutuala in Timor-Leste’s eastern-most district, Lautem, dreadlocked Dias has a decade of activism behind him and a nine-year-long stint as a researcher at respected Timorese development analysis institute, Lao Hamutuk. Now working at the Timor Transparency Network, which publishes figures for Timor Sea wealth.
Dias told Crikey that Australia owes Timor-Leste money.
Australia is Timor-Leste’s largest foreign aid donor, but the $91.8 million allocated in aid over 2018-19 pales in comparison to the estimated $5 billion received by Australia from oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea, mostly from areas now recognised as Timor-Leste’s under the new treaty. “Australia can’t give small money and take big money,” Dias said.
Australia still draws an estimated US$4 million per month from oil and gas fields found under the new boundary treaty to lie in Timor-Leste’s waters, and will until the treaty is ratified, which is expected to be by the end of this year. While under its terms neither party has the right to seek compensation from the other, Dias says options remain open.
“Even though the treaty doesn’t ask for compensation, it also doesn’t ban Australia from voluntarily giving back the money it took from Timor-Leste,” he said.
But the specifics of the ongoing oil negotiations are of less interest to MKOTT than reclaiming Timor-Leste’s rights and correcting the perceived wrong of the Witness K prosecution.
Dias said that Collaery and Witness K simply wanted to strengthen Australia’s democracy by revealing the Australian government’s wrongdoing in bugging Timor-Leste, calling Bishop a “hypocrite” for promoting democracy abroad while her own country prosecutes its truth-tellers. “What Julie Bishop said in other countries about democracy doesn’t reflect in Timor-Leste,” he said. “This is why I say she is a hypocrite minister.”
The Australian government must avoid limiting freedom of expression by allowing the prosecution of the pair, Dias said, lest it start its own dictatorial regime. “We from MKOTT see that it is a setback for Australian democracy,” he said. “For Timor-Leste, this criminalisation is a practise of human rights violation. We see that they are criminalised now, we have the obligation to show solidarity.”
MKOTT activists, who have fought for Timor-Leste’s sovereignty since 2004, held a candlelight vigil outside Bishop’s hotel when she visited Dili in July, and Dias said the group will protest again in Dili on September 12, the rescheduled date of the case’s first directions hearing.
“Timor’s fight now is a continuation of the past fight,” he said. “In the past, the fight was to gain independence. Now people of Timor are feeling about the domination of the Australian government. They know it’s not just and fair from them. That’s why until now they keep demanding.”


To all supporters. No action is planned yet, but this matter won’t rest, be assured.
In solidarity with Bernard and witness ‘K’
Bob Hanney

Australia East Timor Friendship Association South Australia Inc


Affiliated to the Timor Sea Justice Alliance (TSJ



The Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA released the following statement today following the move by the Australian Government to charge Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery with conspiracy:

“Australians who value human rights and fairness between nations are outraged today to learn that the Turnbull government intends to charge Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, with conspiracy.

Witness K, a former Australian military intelligence officer, blew the whistle about an operation undertaken by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) to spy on Timor-Leste”s Government in 2004 during the early days of negotiations between Timor-Leste and Australia over the positioning of their maritime boundary

The operation was very controversial and was described by the former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions ( DPP) Nicholas Cowdery QC as a ‘conspiracy to defraud.’
Independent federal member for Denison, .Andrew Wilkie, has said that it was both illegal and unscrupulous.

It is obvious that the Australian action had nothing to do with protecting Australia’s security. It was about giving Australia an unfair advantage over the poorest nation in SE Asia regarding the sharing of resources in the Timor Sea.

Bernard Collaery also acted for the Timor-Leste Government in the International Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague that was responsible for coordinating the conciliation process between Australia and Timor-Leste. This followed the decision by the Timor-Leste Government in 2013 to oppose the previous unfair Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS ) treaty that it was bullied into in 2006. This treaty was in violation of the UN.Convention of the Law of the Sea.

Following this move in a bid that appeared to be an attempt to pervert the course of justice, George Brandis,, (former Australia Attorney General) ordered the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to raid Bernard Collaery’s office to remove documents related to the case. In addition, he ordered ASIO personnel and to confiscate the passport of Witness K to prevent him from going to the PCA to be a key witness.

However, despite these actions by the Turnbull Government, in March this year, Timor-Leste had a significant moral victory over Australia when it was decided that the maritime boundary would be along the midline between the coasts of the two nations.

Whether the Turnbull Government likes it or not, Timor-Leste has been vindicated on the matter of the maritime boundary between our two nations.

It should just accept this decision and desist from taking any action against these Witness K and Mr Collaery. Fair minded Australians regard them as heroes who assisted Timor-Leste, our great World War 2 ally, to obtain justice.They are more worthy of receiving national awards than threats of imprisonment.

Andrew Wilkie believes that the charging of the men by the Federal Attorney General Christian Porter will create an even greater scandal for Australia.

No matter how much it claims that this matter is about national security, it is obvious that Australia is viewed as trying to take a commercial advantage over a smaller nation that had suffered a very brutal occupation and now seeks to take vindictive action against Witness K and Bernard Collaery. There should be no suggestion that they should face a closed court.

It should also accept the advice of Dr Jose Ramos Horta, the Nobel Peace Laureate and former PM and president of Timor-Leste, and return Witness K’s passport to him.

In addition, the Australian Government should return to Timor-Leste all the money it has accrued from the oil and gas resources that it has taken from an area at is now acknowledged under international law to belong to Timor.

The Australia government’s cruel treatment of asylum seekers, the shabby treatment of the East Timorese during the illegal and brutal occupation of their nation by the Indonesian military followed by the attempts to steal its urgently needed resources have already given us a bad name internationally.

It has to be said that Witness K and Bernard Collaery have both acted with great integrity and fairness and are deserving of honours.

The same cannot be said about the Turnbull Government.

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer

Phone: 61 8 83710480

0457 827 014




Former ACT Attorney-General and lawyer, Bernard Collaery, has disclosed today that he, and Witness K, have received a Summons returnable before the ACT Magistrates Court charging them with conspiring to breach Section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001. As Section 39 stood at the relevant time, it provides for a two-year or 120 unit penalty. Section 39 makes punishable the revealing of information of any kind, even arguably unlawful activity, concerning ASIS.

There is no allegation by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions of any national security breach.

“Fourteen years after the bugging of the Dili cabinet during revenue negotiations between Australia and Timor-Leste as joint venturers, over four years after the raid on my chambers and Witness K’s home, and three years after I gave a public address in which I explained that no issues of national security were compromised, Witness K, a loyal Australian patriot, and myself are to be put before the Court on a charge of conspiracy for revealing what a former NSW DPP Nicholas Cowdery QC has described as a ‘conspiracy to defraud.’

The charge of conspiracy against Witness K and myself is Kafkaesque. I have no more to say about it. It will be vigorously defended.

The thought that I will appear as a defendant in the Court in which I have practised for most of my career is devastating for myself, my family, and our legal team. I am also charged with protesting the search of my chambers and revealing the seizure of my Brief and the unlawful activity of the government to a number of ABC journalists. I do not know the extent to which those journalists who reported my comments may or may not be brought into these proceedings.

If their careers are to be affected, I very much regret that such an event would happen in our country. My legal team acted at all times with the support of eminent legal advice. I was privileged to have sought justice for the poorest country in Asia, for a people with a high infant mortality rate and to whom we owe a debt of honour from the events of World War II.

I can reveal that as a young man, nearly fifty years ago when memories were fresh, I received training from an Australian intelligence agency during which a former Z Force commando told me of the sacrifice the Timorese people had made in saving the lives of our young soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, his comrades, in World War II. I have never forgotten that. I am disappointed that an Australian veteran and very good person, Witness K, has been denied a passport now for more than four years, has been unable in retirement to enjoy life fully, and is to now be tried with me for conspiracy.

This prosecution, approved of by the Federal Attorney-General, can only mean one thing. Namely, that bugging the out-of-session deliberations during revenue negotiations between joint parties to a treaty is a legitimate function of ASIS. I do not believe that the Australian people will support the notion that our Secret Service should join in a conspiracy to defraud the people of the poorest nation in Asia. The Attorney-General expects this hearing to be held behind closed doors. I do not believe the Australian people will support this. It was never, and can never be, a legitimate function of our Secret Service to join in, ‘a conspiracy to defraud.’ This prosecution sends a wrong message to the good men and women in our Secret Service. They do not join the Service to take part in corporate plunder. Using the terrorist powers to shroud the proceedings in this matter is unbecoming a liberal democracy. The proposition by the Liberal Party that it can use ASIS in plundering the resources of one of the poor nations to our north has to be tested in open court.

There must be humanity and honesty in our dealings with developing nations. I call upon the Australian people to stand with me and Witness K in saying, ‘We Care.’”

MARCH ON MAY DAY (Adelaide) to Support West Papuan Freedom and Celebrate Timor Leste’s Victory in the Maritime Boundary Dispute

Watch out for the AETFA SA and Australia West Papua Assoc. SA banners and combined stall!


MARCH:  ASSEMBLY TIME: 10 AM  VENUE: Victoria Square Adelaide

MARCH STARTING TIME: 10.30 PM (Depart for rally at Light Square)

RALLY:  TIME: 11 AM (approximately)  VENUE: Light Square

Speeches, music, kids’activities etc



PROTEST AGAINST:                                                                                                                          * THE CONTINUED INDONESIAN MILITARY GENOCIDE IN WEST PAPUA

CALL FOR:                                                                                                                                         * A UN INTERNATIONAL PEACE KEEPING FORCE TO ENTER WEST PAPUA & ALLOW A UN SUPERVISED INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM THERE SO THAT WEST PAPUANS CAN DETERMINE THEIR OWN POLITICAL FUTURE



Other May Day Events:

PORT ADELAIDE WORKERS’ MEMORIAL SERVICE                                                        SUNDAY 6 MAY 2018    10 AM                                                                                                      VENUE:    Workers Memorial / Port Adelaide Information Centre                                                             – NW corner of St Vincent St & Commercial Rd intersection, Port Adelaide

 followed by morning tea in the nearby town council centre provided by the  Port  Adelaide – Enfield Council

 NOTE: 2018 is the centennial of the erection of the Workers’ Memorial

SEMAPHORE WORKERS’ CLUB MAY DAY BBQ                                                                  SUNDAY 6 MAY 2018     12 NOON                                                                                             VENUE:        SEMAPHORE WORKERS’ CLUB    93 Esplanade, Semaphore




The Australia East Timor Friendship Association of SA today released the following statement after the announcement by Paul Symon, the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) that he intended to appear in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to put forward his organisation’s case to stop the release of documents related to the 16 October 1975 murder by personnel of the Indonesian military (TNI) of 5 Australian based journalists in Balibo, East Timor: These men are now known as the Balibo 5.

“The statement by Paul Symon, the ASIS Director-General on 27 April 2018 that he would appear in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to prevent the release of the agency’s documents related to the murder of the Balibo 5, is an indication that he will go to any lengths to attempt to cover up what ASIS knew about the murders of these men and the subsequent liquidation of about a third of the East Timor population by the Indonesian military (TNI) during its 24 year illegal and brutal occupation of that country.

Australians who believe in justice and human rights welcome the tenacity of Professor Clinton Fernandes of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Canberra Campus of the University of NSW who has been calling for the release of these documents for many years.

Mr Symon claims that this is a matter of national security. AETFA SA believes that this is totally untrue.

What he and the Acting Attorney General, Greg Hunt, are attempting to do is to prevent Australians from knowing to what lengths ASIS has gone to in the past to support cover-ups of crimes against humanity committed by the TNI in East Timor and West Papua and similar crimes committed by the Chilean military and the CIA in Chile in 1973.

Of course, the claim about dangers to Australian security were made by the former attorney-general, George Brandis, when he authorised the ASIS illegal surveillance of the Timor-Leste negotiating team during the early days of negotiations over the maritime boundary in the Timor Sea. What it was about was Australia trying to get a very unfair commercial advantage over our loyal WW2 ally and the poorest nation in SE Asia and had nothing whatsoever to do with national security.

In addition, the decision by Greg Hunt and Paul Symon means that they are prepared to oppose justice for the Balibo 5 and their families.

We are frequently told by the members of the current government that they believe in the rule of law, democracy and uphold human rights. Massive crimes have been committed by the TNI in Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. These crimes are viewed by many human rights observers as being as serious as those committed by the Nazis during WW2.

Australians who pride themselves as supporting human rights, democratic rights and freedom want to know why our governments have refused to act against violations of these principles and, indeed, been willing to protect the perpetrators.

Fair minded Australians would support Greig Cunningham, the brother of Gary Cunningham, one of the Balibo 5, when he said that after 43 years the families are entitled to know the truth. The Balibo 5 and their families also deserve justice, as do the East Timorese and the West Papuans, who have suffered genocide at the hands of the TNI. The silence from Australian governments and our security organisations indicate that they have little commitment to the principles of justice, democracy or the rule of law.

When the history of the murder of the Balibo 5 is finally written, Professor Clinton Fernandes, and representatives of the Balibo 5 families, like Shirley Shackleton and Greig Cunningham, will be seen as heroes, and our political leaders and security personnel who aided and abetted the TNI will be seen as being extremely tawdry.

Australians need to ensure that our future political leaders will work for peace, justice and human rights in world affairs and to do this we will need to be an independent, free and non-aligned nation”.



Quiz Night
Para Hills Modbury Catholic Parish, East Timor committee
Saturday 26th May 2018
7.30 pm start
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Hall, Kesters Road Para Hills
* Admission $10 pp * Table bookings: 8-10 people *

BYO Drinks and Supper
Tea and coffee available – gold coin donation appreciated

* Lots of Prizes   * Auction   * Raffle

Bookings: Place your name on the Booking Sheets at St John XXIII, Holy Trinity or phone the Parish office on 8264 7590

All proceeds to our sister diocese of Maliana, East Timor

for clean water and electricity projects & repairs to computers


Community Lottery for AETFA projects now online

Hi. 2018 Community Lottery tickets are now available online. All monies for tickets go to the Australia East Timor Friendship Assoc SA for Timor Leste projects, incl. advocacy and the Working Womens Centre in Dili. Those buying tickets online before the end of April get 2 chances to win a prize.

Thankyou for your continued support and goodluck! Just click on the link below:-

Bob Hanney


The Australia East Timor Friendship Association of SA today released the statement below following the announcement that agreement had been reached between the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste that the maritime boundary between the two nations will be the midline between their coastlines:

“The agreement signed by Agio Pereira for Timor-Leste and Julie Bishop for Australia is a truly historic occasion because, finally, the Australian Government has been forced to accept the principle of international law (the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS) in relation to the maritime border between the two nations in the Timor Sea.

However, it is not a proud moment for Australia, whose leaders from the beginning of negotiations on 2002, sought to cheat Timor-Leste, the poorest nation in the region that was still recovering from 24 years of brutal occupation by the Indonesian military (TNI) out of its fair share of the oil and gas resources in its half of the Timor Sea.

Later, the Timor-Leste Government took Australia to an International Court over allegations of ASIS (Australian Security Intelligence Service) spying on its negotiating team in 2005 and accused it of bullying tactics during the early stages of its Independence forcing the new East Timorese nation to accept an unfair deal.

Then in 2016, Dili took the maritime border dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague. The International Court ordered compulsory arbitration between the two parties which has finally led to the current agreement. The response of the then Attorney General, George Brandis was to order an ASIO (Australian Security Intelligenc Organisation) raid on the office of Bernard Collaery, the Australian lawyer who was representing the government of Timor-Leste and to withdraw the passport of Witness K, a former Australian military intelligence officer, who became a whistle blower because of Australia’s unfair treatment of Timor-Leste. Many international legal observers consider that these tactics were intended to pervert the course of justice.

These outrages followed the 24 years of aiding and abetting the TNI during its long and illegal occupation of East Timor. All of this has to be considered as a disgraceful and contemptible way to treat our valiant World War 2 ally whose people suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese military for supporting Australia.

If Australia is acting in good faith, it should return the royalties for the resources that were removed from Timor-Leste’s half of the Timor Sea to help it provide urgently needed humanitarian, rebuilding and development programs to build a healthy and viable nation in the future. Its people still suffer high levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, malnutrition, youth unemployment, illiteracy,and infant mortality.

While AETFA SA is pleased that the East Timorese have gained some justice with the signing of the treaty, it notes that there is still disagreement over how to share revenue from the lucrative Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea which analysts have valued at between $40 and $50 billion. Timor-Leste wants a 70:30% split in its favour with processing being done in Timor-Leste. Australia wants to share profits with an 80-20 percent split in Timor-Leste’s favour, but with oil and gas processed in Darwin.

AETFA SA would ask why Timor-Leste should only receive 70% or 80% of the revenues given that 100% belongs to them ? It would be much fairer for the Australian Government to offer 90% of the revenues to Timor-Leste and offer a high percentage of staff positions in the refinery industry go to East Timor engineers, geologists, technicians.

Don Rothwell, an expert in international maritime law at the Australian National University has said that the opportunity for a gas processing industry was “worth more to Timor than to Australia”- especially the dire struggle for independence against incredible odds. Surely Australian leaders could show some compassion and fairness to our struggling neighbour that faces so many challenges as it seeks to be an economically viable nation instead of continuing the mean minded treatment of a people who have been out loyal friends”.

Andrew (Andy) Alcock

Information Officer


Phone: 61 8 83710480

0457 827 014



( AETFA SA was originally the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA until Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002)