Australia East Timor Friendship Association South Australia Inc

AETFA-SA, PO BOX 240, GOODWOOD SA 5034 Secretary: PHONE: 08 8344 3511

AETFA SA Inc invites you to an event to celebrate


- a crucial event in the liberation of Timor-Leste

TIME: 6 PM for 6.30 PM


DATE: 30 AUGUST 2019


COST: $20

Snack foods will be served and drinks will be available at the bar

There will also be an option to stay for dinner afterwards (at your own cost)

- RSVP by 26 August please!

Please contact:

Andy Alcock

Information Officer


Phone: +61 8 83710480

0457 827 014

Donald barnes



Phone: +61 8 83593109

0429 997 169


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


Car parks
15,Halifax St.
3 min walking to pub
$4 for 3 hours
Covered. 2m height limit
On south side close to corner. Across from the King’s Head pub.

11 Wright St
3 min walking to pub
$15 for 2 1/2hours
Uncovered. 18 spaces.
On the corner of John and Wright Streets
John Street is behind the King’s Head

On-street parks available but probably hard to get.

City South stop Opposite the pub

98 and 99 circle line buses stop across the road on Halifax St
Other buses may also run down here.

Latest news on Witness K and B Collaery

The issue of Australia’s relationship with Timor Leste continues, however there is some positive news. Ex-President and Resistance hero, Xanana Gusmao, has recently asserted that the prosecution of whistle-blowers Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery by the Australian Govt is unjust. Their court case, after much secrecy, has now been announced will be held on August 6. However we ask supporters to Call for the Immediate Discontinuance of the Case (see below). Also below is a speech given by Senator Rex Patrick last September on the ethics and legality of pressing these charges.

And we shouldn’t forget that Oz owes Timor more than $5b in stolen revenue from the oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea.

Another Australian, in more serious trouble, is Julian Assange. Action needs to be taken to prevent him being extradited to the U.S. from where he will never return if the extradition takes place. Like Witness K and Bernard Collaery he is a whistle blower for truth and justice.

Postcards are available for anyone who is interested in letting the Attorney-General know that we want the charges against K & BC dropped. Give me a call on 0469 359199 if you would like a postcard or two.

In truth and justice
Bob Hanney                                                                                                                                       Secretary                                                                                                                                          AETFA SA


Background                                                                                                                                      The Australian government spied on its regional neighbour Timor-Leste in 2004 during Treaty negotiations about the sharing of the resources of the Timor Sea. The Foreign Minister at the time was Alexander Downer, and the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was Ashton Calvert. The spy now known as “Witness K” found out that those who ordered the spying were lobbying for Woodside, the oil company involved. He complained to the spy agency and was advised to get a lawyer. He chose Bernard Collaery. When the Timorese government was advised of the spying, they withdrew from the Treaty and began negotiations for an internationally recognised border. The consequent Timor Sea Treaty was signed at the UN in March 2018. Two months later, Witness K and Collaery were charged with making known state secrets. They face two years’ jail.

Call for: An inquiry into the illegal espionage against Timor-Leste in 2004. An inquiry into the relationship between ASIS activities in 2004 in Timor-Leste and the ongoing investigation into the Bali bombings at the same time.
                                                                                                                                              Conduct of the Case                                                                                                                                              The prosecution is using national security legislation in the case without demonstrating how revealing Australian spying on a poor neighbour threatens national security.                               The prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery has not the met the minimum standards required for a fair trial:                                                                                                                      •   They have not been informed completely or promptly of the charges and evidence being used against them.                                                                                                                                    •   Undue secrecy and delay has surrounded the case and the hearings.                                        •   The A-G requires that all proceedings be closed and that no media covers the trial.
Other serious matters:                                                                                                                  •   Those who ordered the illegal spying have not faced charges, yet those who told the truth are being treated as criminals.                                                                                                                •   This prosecution is a warning to intelligence personnel that reporting the abuse of law by government will threaten their reputation and livelihood.                                                                  •   The prosecution exposes Australia to international condemnation.                                              •   It erodes the Australian image as a fair, law-abiding and honest regional power.
Recent Developments                                                                                                                             After comments on 5 July 2019 by the former President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão that the prosecution was unjust, the Australian Prime Minister indicated that he was not ruling out dropping the charges.                                                                                                                                     Now is the time for all Australians to CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE DISCONTINUANCE  OF THE CASE
*Contact the Prime Minister Phone: 6277 7700 Email: click here for Contact Form Post: The Hon Scott Morrison MP
 Prime Minister
 Parliament House
*Contact the Attorney-General Phone: 6277 7300 Email: Click here for Contact Form Post: The Hon Christian Porter MP PO Box 6022 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Call for: The immediate discontinuance of the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery.


Senator Rex Patrick’s Speech to Parliament 19 September 2018                   Senate Hansard pp 98-101.                                                                                                 Senator  PATRICK  (South  Australia)  (18:43):   I  rise  to  respond  to  the  Governor-General’s  opening  speech during this address-in-reply,  and I  do so with a  view  to discussing a situation that  we  have before us  that  should be of  great  concern. As we all  know, Australia’s  national  interests are best  served by  a rules  based international  order. The  2016  Defence  white paper  mentioned a rules  based order  53 times. The  Foreign policy white paper  put  out  by DFAT in 2017 mentioned a rules  based order  15 times.
We need to  practise  what  we preach, otherwise  DFAT will become  a  rather  expensive  department  that  has  no  credibility,  and  that’s  not  in  the  national  interests.
This overriding national  interest  is the context  of  my  following remarks. In  March  2002,  three  months  before  East  Timor  became  an  independent  state,  Australia’s  then  foreign  minister, Mr  Alexander  Downer,  withdrew  Australia  from  the  maritime  boundary  jurisdiction  of  the  International  Court  of Justice  and  the  International  Tribunal  for  the  Law  of  the  Sea.  That  meant  East  Timor  couldn’t  claim  its  right  under international  law  to  a  maritime  boundary  halfway  between  the  two  countries’  coastlines.  How’s  that  for  a  rules based international  order? Meanwhile,  on  20  September  2002,  the  Howard  government  awarded  an  exploration  contract  for  an  area  partly on  East  Timor’s  side  of  the  median  line.  East  Timor  protested  but  couldn’t  go  to  the  independent  umpire.
The government  awarded  similar  contracts  in  April  2003  and  February  2004,  also  protested  by  East  Timor.  Then,  in November  2002,  Mr  Downer  warned  East  Timor’s  Prime  Minister  that  Australia  could  hold  up  the  flow  of  gas from  the  Timor  Sea  for  decades.  He  said,  according  to  a  transcript  of  the  negotiating  records,  ‘We  don’t  have  to exploit  the  resources.  We  can  stay  for  here  20,  40,  50  years.  We  are  very  tough.  We  will  not  care  if  you  give information to the media.  Let  me give  you a  tutorial  in politics—not  a chance.’
In  December  2002,  the  Sunrise  project  partners,  Woodside,  ConocoPhillips,  Shell  and  Osaka  Gas,  announced the  indefinite  delay  of  the  project,  an  obvious  tactic  to  pressure  East  Timor  to  accept  Mr  Downer’s  demands.  The bottom  line  here  is  that  Mr  Downer  and  Woodside  wanted  to  force  East  Timor,  one  of  the  poorest  countries  in
the world,  to  surrender  most  of  the  revenue  from  the  Greater  Sunrise  project—revenue  that  it  could  have  used  to  do much  with,  including  dealing  with  its  infant  mortality  rate.
Currently,  45  out  of  1,000  children  in  East  Timor  don’t live past  the age of one.  Yet  our  plan was  to deprive them  of  oil  revenue. It’s  prudent  at  this  time  to  mention  that  one  of  Mr  Downer’s  senior  advisers  at  the  time  was  a  man  named  Mr Josh  Frydenberg. It’s relevant  to something  I  will  talk about  later. Mr  Downer  then  ordered  the  Australian  Secret  Intelligence Service  to  bug  East  Timor’s  negotiations.  ASIS installed  listening  devices  inside  East  Timor’s  ministerial  rooms  and  cabinet  offices  under  the  cover of  a  foreign aid  program,  piling  cynicism  onto  callousness.  The  espionage operation  occurred  at  the  same  time  the  Jemaah Islamiyah  terror  group  bombed  the  Australian  Embassy  in  Jakarta  on  9  September  2004,  when  Mr  Downer  and Prime  Minister  John  Howard  were  assuring  the  public  that  they  were  taking  every  measure  against  extreme Muslim  terrorism  in  Indonesia.
Introducing  another  character  into  the  story,  Mr  Nick  Warner  was  involved  in  the  spying  operation.  Mr  Warner went  on  to  become  the  head  of  ASIS  and  has  since  been  appointed  as  the  Director-General  of  the  Office  of National  Intelligence.  I  also  note  that  Mr  Frydenberg  was  an adviser  in  the  Prime  Minister’s  office  at  the  time  of the spying. I  will  have more  to say  on that  on another  day. Spied  on,  threatened  and  unable  to  seek  redress  at  the  International  Court  of  Justice,  East  Timor  signed  a  treaty in  January  2006.  This  blatantly  unfair  treaty  denied  them  their  right to  a  maritime  border  on  the  median  line.  It also,  in  effect,  created  a  permanent  regime  over  the  length  of  the  Greater  Sunrise  project’s  commercial  life.  The major  beneficiary  of  this  negotiation  was  Woodside  Petroleum.
The  then  Secretary  of  the  Department  of  Foreign Affairs  and  Trade,  Dr  Ashton  Calvert,  had  already  resigned  and  joined  the  board  of  directors  of  Woodside Petroleum.  Mr  Downer  took  a  lucrative  consultancy  with  Woodside  after  leaving  parliament  in  2008.  There  are also  credible  rumours  of  disquiet  within  ASIS  over  the  diversion  of  scarce  intelligence  assets  away  from  the  war on  terror  and towards  East  Timor. Aware  of  Mr Downer’s  consultancy  work  for  Woodside,  Witness  K  complained  to  the  Inspector-General  of Intelligence  and  Security  about  the  East  Timor  operation.  ASIS  took  steps  to  effectively  terminate  his employment—an  outcome  that  is  not  unusual  for  whistleblowers  in  this  country.  In  response,  Witness  K  obtained permission  from  the  IGIS  to  speak  to  an  ASIS-approved  lawyer,  Bernard  Collaery,  a  former  ACT  AttorneyGeneral.  After  2½  years  of  research,  Mr  Collaery  determined  that  the  espionage  operation  in  East  Timor  was unlawful  and may  also have  been an  offence  under  section 334 of  the Criminal  Code  of  the ACT.
Going  to  the  specifics,  the  case  rested  on  the  fact  that  the  then  director of  ASIS,  David  Irvine,  ordered  Witness K, the head of  all  technical  operations for  ASIS, to place  covert  listening devices  in the East  Timorese government buildings.  Those  instructions  enlivened  the  section  334  offence  in  that  it  constituted  a  conspiracy  to  defraud Australia’s  joint  venture  partner,  East  Timor,  by  gaining  advantage  through  improper  methods  when  the Commonwealth was  under  a legal  obligation to conduct  good-faith negotiations.
The  events  that  followed  are  well  known.  The  East  Timorese  took  Australia  to  the  Permanent  Court  of Arbitration,  which  saw  Australia  eventually  agree  to  renegotiate  the  treaty.  That  was  an  acknowledgement that  the operation  had  occurred.  As  part  of  those  proceedings,  Witness  K was  to  give  evidence  in  a  confidential  hearing. David  Irvine—that’s  the  name  I  introduced  a  moment  ago—in  his  subsequent  role  as  DirectorGeneral  of  ASIO, organised  raids  on  the  homes  and  offices  of  Bernard  Collaery  and  Witness  K  on  3  December  2013.  At  the  same time  the  raids  occurred,  the  Australian  government  revoked  Witness  K’s  passport.
We  know  from  inquiries  made at  estimates  last  year  by  then  Senator  Xenophon  that  the  competent  authority  in  law  advising  the  foreign  minister on  Witness  K  was  not  the  AFP  or  ASIO,  as  you  would  normally expect.  Rather,  it  was  ASIS,  headed  by  a somewhat  conflicted Nicholas  Warner,  noting his involvement  in the original  illegal  bugging  operation. The  day  after  the  raids,  former  Attorney-General  George Brandis  came  into  this  Senate  chamber  and  threatened criminal  prosecutions  for  ‘participation,  whether  as  principal  or  accessory,  in  offences  against  the Commonwealth’.  I’ve  recently  found  out  through  Senate  estimates  that  the  AFP  received  a  referral  from  ASIO about  this  matter  on  13  December  2013.  The  AFP  began  its  investigation  on  10  February  2014,  a  few  months later.  One  year  later,  on  18  February  2015,  the  AFP  gave  a  brief  of  evidence  to  the  Commonwealth  Director  of Public  Prosecutions. The  result?  Nothing. Zip.  Nada—until  now. In  May  2018,  three  years  later,  and  just  after  the  Joint  Standing  Committee  on  Treaties  finally  held public hearings  on  the  Timor  Sea  Treaty,  the  CDPP  filed  charges.  Sarah  Naughton  SC  from  the  CDPP  really  has  to explain  this  interesting  timing.  Did  she  and  her  predecessor  hold  off  until  diplomacy  was  out  of  the  way?  And that’s  not  all  she  has  to  explain.
Amongst  the  charges  before  the  ACT  court—this  is  public  domain  information— are  conversations  Collaery  is  alleged  to  have  had  with  a  number  of  ABC  journalists  and  producers:  Emma Alberici,  Peter  Lloyd,  Connor  Duffy,  Marian  Wilkinson  and  Peter  Cronau.  In  fact,  the  first  time  this  was  reported in  the  press,  the  journalist  responsible  was  Leo  Shanahan  on  29  May  2013  in  The  Australian.  Shanahan  quoted Collaery  directly  as  saying: Australia clandestinely  monitored  the negotiation  rooms
occupied  by  the other  party  … … …  … They  broke  in  and  they  bugged,  in  a  total  breach  of  sovereignty,  the  cabinet  room,  the  ministerial  offices  of  then  prime minister  …  and  his  government. But  Leo  Shanahan  wasn’t  mentioned  on  the  charge  sheet.  Only  the  ABC  journalists  were.  Is  she  trying  to  protect him  because  she’s  hoping  to  get  friendly  coverage  of  a  case  from  his  employer,  The  Australian?  Is  she  going  after the  government’s  perceived  enemies  at  the  ABC?
The  prosecution  requires  the  consent  of  the  Attorney-General, Mr  Christian  Porter.  Mr  Porter  consented,  claiming  on  28  June  this  year  that all  he  did  was  agree  to  an independent  decision by  the  CDPP,  but  as  the  Attorney-General  he is no cipher.  He is well  aware he has  the power to  decline  prosecution,  for  example,  by  questioning  the  general  deterrent  value  of  such  court  action.  What  is  the utilitarian  value  of  such  a  prosecution  this  former  lecturer  at  the  University  of  Western  Australia  could  have asked? Relevant  to  this,  on  1  July,  three  days  after  the  Attorney’s  press  release  acknowledging  his  consent,  Niki  Savva, former  senior  adviser  to  Prime  Minister  John  Howard  and  Treasurer  Peter  Costello  and  now  journalist  and commentator, said on ABC’s  Insider: I  just  think  it’s  very  fraught,  the  whole  thing,  because  from  my  understanding,  George  Brandis  had  asked  for  an  additional piece  of  information  from  the CDPP  on  this  issue  which  fortuitously  or  not  landed  on  Christian  Porter’s desk  when  he  took over  with  a  very  strong  recommendation  to  prosecute.  So  I  think  if  Porter  had  ignored  that  and  it  had  subsequently  come  out, then  he  would  have  faced  a  lot  of  grief  so  I  don’t  think  he  had  any  choice  but  to  proceed.
So  everything  hinges  now  on  the court  case. This  extraordinary  statement  cries  out  for  an  explanation.  How  would  Niki  Savva  know  what  Brandis  had  asked the  CDPP  for  and  whether  it  had  been  provided  to  Porter  and  when  or  what  the  CDPP’s  brief  contained?  Is  there  a leak?  Did  Attorney-General  Christian  Porter  leak  the  contents  of  the  brief  to  Niki  Savva  either  directly  or  through an  intermediary  or  did  the  CDPP  leak  it? One  thing  we  do  know  is  that  Ms  Savva  made  the  remarks  and  we  know she’s not  a fantasist. My colleague  in  the  other  place  Andrew  Wilkie  referred  Niki  Savva’s  statement  to  the  AFP  the  next  day,  on  2 July.  They  wrote  to  him  on  18  July  and  said  they  couldn’t  accept  the  matter  but  would  reassess  if  he  provided more  information.  Of  course,  this  is  something  that’s  very  difficult  to  do.
I  asked  some  questions  on  notice  to  the Attorney-General  last  month  and got  a  rather  uninformative  response,  which  I’ve  subsequently  written  to  him about.  I’m  curious  to  know  why  the  AFP  did  not,  at  the  very  least,  make  a  few  calls  to  the  A-G’s  department. Surely  the  A-G  would  respond  properly  to  a  preliminary  investigation  by  the  AFP.  It’s  a  question  I  will  ask  the AFP  at  our  next  estimates. Moving  along,  I,  along  with  Mr  Wilkie  and  my  Senate  colleagues  Senator  McKim  and  Senator
Storer,  also asked  the  AFP  to  investigate  the  original  conspiracy  to  defraud  the  government  of  East  Timor  under  section  334 of  the Criminal  Code of  the  Australian  Capital  Territory.  The AFP  advised us that, should further  material  become available  indicating  Commonwealth  offences  were  being  committed,  the  AFP  will  reassess  the  matter.  This  is  a catch-22  situation  if  I  ever  saw  one.  Clearly,  the  details  of  Mr  Downer’s  alleged  conspiracy  to  defraud  the government  of  East  Timor  are  unavailable  to  people  outside  the  principal  alleged  conspirators.  How  are  we  meant to  get  those  details?
There’s  a  prima  facie  case  of  a  section  334  violation,  patently  so  because  Witness  K  is  an amenable witness.  It’s up to the AFP  to request  an interview  with Witness  K  himself. Intelligence  officers  are  not  above  the law.  We  know  this  from  a  number  of  cases,  including  the  High  Court case  of  A  v  Hayden,  also  known  as  the  ASIS  case.  The  AFP  advised  me  on  3  August  this  year  that  they  have  no jurisdictional  issues  investigating  crimes  committed  by  intelligence  agencies,  so  why  haven’t  they?  Perhaps  the relations  with  Minister  Frydenberg  and  the  government  are  more  important.
Perhaps  the  fact  that  the AFP  are  now technically  part  of  the  intelligence  community  that  Mr  Nick  Warner  happens  to  head  has  created  resistance  to investigate. I  did  ask  the  Attorney-General  to  confirm  if  the  current  head  of  ASIS,  Mr  Paul  Symon,  was  informed  of  the prosecution  of  Witness  K  and  Mr  Collaery.  I  asked  the  same  about  Minister  Frydenberg and  Mr  Nick  Warner—no response.  There  are  many  more  questions.  Ms  McNaughton  is  handling  the  case  through  her  organised  crime  and counterterrorism  unit  as  though  Witness  K  and  Bernard  Collaery  are  potential  terrorists.  The  avenue  of  attack  sees the  use  of  the  National  Security  Information  Act  2004,  which  was  enacted  during  the  war  on  terror  in  response  to terrorist  threats.  It  gave enormous power  to the prosecution to seek orders from  the court  to classify  information as confidential  based on decisions by  the executive as  to what  information is confidential. Of  course  some  secrecy  is  needed. ASIS  officers’  identities  must  be  kept  secret,  because  if  foreign  governments know  who  our  spies are  then  they  can  identify  the  agents  in  their  countries  and  take  countermeasures  against them.  If  foreign  governments  were  to  learn  Witness  K’s  real  name,  they  might  be  able  to  identify  his  agents  in their  countries  and  take  countermeasures  against  them.  People  who  betray  their  country  would  no  longer  dare  risk their  safety  by  dealing with Australian spies.
But  Witness  K  and  Mr  Collaery  appear  fully  committed  to  this  kind  of  secrecy.  Indeed,  Witness  K  can  give evidence  whilst  having  his  identity  concealed.  That  is  precisely  what  happened  in  the  British  inquest  into  the downing  of  an  RAF  Hercules  aircraft  in  2005.  Among  those  killed  was  an  Australian  airman,  Flight  Lieutenant Pau  Pardoel.  All  the  special  forces
witnesses  who  testified  had  their  identities  protected.  The  same  method  could easily  be handled by  the ACT Magistrates  Court. But  in  this  case  a  fundamental  unfairness  occurs  because  the  prosecution  is  proposing  orders  that  the  entire matter  be  heard  in  secrecy.
This  is  from  a  government  which  repeatedly  makes  national  security  public  interest claims  in  this  place  in  respect  of  orders  for  production  and has  been  found  to  be  wrong  consistently.  This government  has  lost  all  credibility  in  this  space.  The  approach  is  blatantly  aimed  at  giving  the  executive  the  power to  classify  lawful  behaviour  as  secret  and  to  prevent  that  behaviour  from  being  disclosed.  In  plain  English,  the government  is trying to  prosecute people for  revealing its  crimes.
The  people  of  East  Timor  have  traditionally  been  good  allies  and  loyal  friends  of  Australia.  Their  support  of our  soldiers  fighting  the  Japanese  in 1942  was  vital.  The  East  Timorese  suffered  40,000  deaths  due  to  aerial bombings  and  the  destruction  of  villages  suspected  of  sheltering  Australian  troops  by  the  Japanese.  Australian troops  were  protected  at  the  expense  of  and  the  lives  of  many,  many  East  Timorese  people,  Senator  Neville Bonner  said  in  a  statement  to  the  Senate  in  1977.  And  yet  the  government  ordered  an  espionage  operation  against East  Timor’s  negotiators  to  gain  significant  advantage  in  those  negotiations.  The  operation  has  caused considerable  disruption,  ending  only  recently  when  we  renegotiated  the  treaty—hopefully,  this  time  without spying. In  the  period  between  the  spying  and  now,  East  Timor’s  sentiment  towards  Australia  has  deteriorated substantially  and  China  has  managed  to  increase  its  influence  through  the  use  of  soft  power.
The  government sanctimoniously  calls  for  a  rules  based  international  order,  and  that  just  looks  like  sheer  humbug.  It’s  time  for  this farce  to  end;  it’s  time  to  bury  this  issue.  We  did  the  wrong  thing  to  East  Timor.  It  was  called  out  by  honourable people  and  now  we  seek  to  prosecute  them.  Australia  committed  a  crime;  the  government  committed  a  crime.  Noone  is  above  the  law  and  we  need  to  investigate  that  properly.  All  of  this  stuff  to  do  with  Witness  K  and  Mr Collaery  in  the  courts  is  just  ripping  the  scar  off  a  wound  in  East  Timor,  and  I  urge  the  government  to  rethink  the process they’re going through. Thank you.

Public Meeting: Good Neighbour, Bad Neighbour – Australia’s Historical Relationship with East Timor

Australia East Timor Friendship Association South Australia Inc

AETFA-SA, PO BOX 240, GOODWOOD SA 5034 Secretary: PHONE: 08 8344 3511

The Australia East Timor Friendship Association (South Australia) invites you to a ………


TOPIC: Good Neighbour, Bad Neighbour:

Australia’s Historical Relationship with East Timor

SPEAKER: Senator Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance Senator for SA)


DAY: Sunday

DATE: 16 June 2019

VENUE: FILEF Meeting Room

15 Lowe St, Adelaide


* Mr Sathish Dasan (newly appointed Timor-Lest Hon. Consul to SA)

* Speaker from the East Timorese Community (ETSA SA) will give an update on key issues in Timor-Leste

Nibbles and drinks provided

Members & intending members

Please Note: This public meeting will follow the AETFA SA AGM which will be at 2pm



Bob Hanney



Phone: +61 8 83443511;

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)

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”.