Grafitti and lipstick marks on the wall of the house where five journalists, Australians Greg ...

Unit International Force East Timor (INTERFET)
Places
Accession Number P03408.006
Collection type Photograph
Object type Colour - Film original negative 35mm
Maker Barham, Christopher Andrew
Place made East Timor: Balibo
Date made October 1999
Conflict East Timor, 1999-2013
Copyright

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright

Description

Grafitti and lipstick marks on the wall of the house where five journalists, Australians Greg Shackleton and Tony Stewart, Britons Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters, and New Zealander Gary Cunningham, known as the Balibo Five, lived prior to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. As the Indonesians crossed the border, the journalists decided to stay believing that, as journalists, they would not be military targets, despite the fact that the East Timorese had abandonded the village. They painted an Australian flag and the word 'Australia' on a wall of the house. On 16 October 1975, all five were killed by the Indonesian military and their bodies burnt before being sent to the Australian embassy in Jakarta for burial. Over 30 years later, an inquest into their deaths was opened in NSW. The lipstick marks on the wall are from the women who were forced to kiss it before they were raped and killed.