Summary

Title: East Timor Collection.

Date range of collection: 1999 - 2001.

Scope and content note: The East Timor Collection consists of a range of printed media associated with and produced during Australia's involvement in the East Timor Peacekeeping mission as part of UNAMET, INTERFET and UNTAET between 1999 and 2001. The majority of the collection is material produced by government bodies, such as leaflets distributed to the East Timorese, information for the peacekeeping force and postcards used as a means of fundraising for the people of East Timor. A small section of the collection consists of material produced by Australian people to demonstrate their support of the peacekeeping force, such as Christmas cards. Only a few items in the collection were produced by either Indonesian or East Timorese people.

Provenance: The East Timor collection comes from a variety of sources, with the majority of the collection being donated to the Memorial from the Army History Unit.

Extent: The collection consists of approximately 300 items, housed in four folders and one Solander box.

Location: Published and Digitised Collections, Research Centre, Australian War Memorial.

Related collections:

  • East Timor Map Collection.
  • Serials collection, including: The Tiger Journal, 1999-2000, 5th/7th Battalion (Mechanized) The Royal Australian Regiment: The story of the Battalion's relocation to Darwin and deployment to East Timor; and, Kapyong Kronicle: Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, Australian Battalion VI, Operation Tanager/Citadel, 2002.

 

Administrative information
Access: Open.
Publication rights: Contact the Senior Curator, Published & Digitised tree Collections.
Copyright: Contact the Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections.
Preferred citation: East Timor Collection, Published and Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.
Historical background
East Timor Peacekeeping Mission

The Portuguese colony of East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975. After almost a quarter-century of bloodshed in the territory, a new Indonesian government under President Habibie agreed to allow the East Timorese to vote on their future. A UN operation - the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) - was established to organize and conduct the vote, which was held at the end of August 1999 and resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of independence. Once the result had been announced, pro-Indonesian militias, sometimes with the support of elements of the Indonesian security forces, launched a campaign of violence, looting and arson throughout the entire territory. Many East Timorese were killed, and as many as 500,000 were displaced from their homes, about half leaving the territory, in some cases under threat of violence. 

Eventually, as the violence remained uncontrolled, Indonesia agreed to the deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force. Australia, which had contributed police to UNAMET, organized and led the International Force for East Timor (Interfet), a non-UN force operating in accordance with UN resolutions. Interfet, with the role of restoring peace and security, protecting and supporting UNAMET, and facilitating humanitarian assistance operations, began arriving on 12 September 1999. Australia contributed over 5,500 personnel and the force commander, Major General Peter Cosgrove. 

With the withdrawal of the Indonesian armed forces, police and administrative officials from East Timor, UNAMET re-established its headquarters in Dili on 28 September. On 19 October 1999, Indonesia formally recognised the result of the referendum. Shortly thereafter, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was established as an integrated, multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation, fully responsible for the administration of East Timor during its transition to independence. The hand-over of command of military operations from Interfet to UNTAET was completed on 28 February 2000. Australia has continued to support the UN peacekeeping operation with between 1,500 and 2,000 personnel, as well as landing craft and Blackhawk helicopters. Australia remains the largest contributor of personnel to the peacekeeping mission.

References:
www.awm.gov.au/atwar/peacekeeping

 

Series List:

Series number Title of Series and Date
1/1/1 Greeting Cards and Calendars
2/1/1 Internet Media
3/1/1 Leaflets
4/1/1 Media Briefings & Releases, Department of Defence
5/1/1 Newspapers and Magazines
6/1/1 Documents and Stationery
7/1/1 Postcards
8/1/1 Posters
9/1/1 Publications
10/1/1 Satirical Cartoons
11/1/1 Souvenirs

SERIES 1: Greeting Cards and Calendars, 1999-2002 (30 items)

Description

This collection contains greeting cards and calendars sent to Australian service personnel wishing them well.

Subseries 1 : Neil Mitchell's Radio Program (13 items)

Description: This collection contains greeting cards sent to Australian service personnel wishing them well. The cards are addressed to the 'Peace Keepers' rather than specific people. A majority of the cards have been sent through Neil Mitchell's radio program on Melbourne's 3AW radio station. The collection includes some cards that have been hand made and decorated by children. Other items include commercially published cards and calendars obtained by peacekeepers during the course of the conflict.

File Title/Description Box/Folder
1/1/1 (no title)
Christmas card addressed to 'The Peacekeeper' from the Balzary family with a picture of a bowl of pears with a partridge amongst them. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/2 (no title)
Christmas card addressed to 'The Peacekeeper' from the Ward family with a picture of two birds, snowmen, Christmas stockings and presents. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/3 Merry Christmas
Christmas card addressed to 'An Australian Peacekeeper' from Julie O'Connell with the shape of a star cut out of the card. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/4 (no title)
Christmas card addressed to peacekeepers from Joyce with a picture of a candle and pine cones. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/5 (no title)
Christmas card addressed to a Peacekeeper from Mary, Dixon and family with a picture of Santa Clause and a bag of gifts. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/6 Next Year Everyone's Getting Gift Vouchers!
Christmas card addressed to peacekeepers from Kaarina, Eiro and Minna with a cartoon of Santa Clause, Rudolph and a sleigh in the snow. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/7 (no title)
Christmas card addressed to the Peacekeeper from the Ward family with a picture of a teddy bear in a sleigh. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/8 Christmas Greetings
Christmas card addressed to the Peacekeepers from Roma and Phillip Owen and families with a picture of bells. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/9 Christmas Greetings
Christmas card addressed to a Peacekeeper from Kim and Victoria with a stylised picture of a Christmas tree. [with envelope]
Folder 1
1/1/10 (no title)
Unused Christmas card with the INTERFET symbol on the front and a Christmas message inside in both English and Tetum (5 copies)
Folder 1
1/1/11 Merry Christmas
Hand made Christmas card addressed to 'Our Australian Troops in East Timor' from Kylie
Folder 1
1/1/12 (no title)
Hand made Christmas card addressed to 'Dear Soldier' from Sean. It is date stamped 28 Nov 1999 and has simple drawings in coloured pencil.
Folder 1
1/1/13 Merry Christmas
Hand made Christmas card in the shape of a candy cane addressed to 'Our Troops in East Timor' from Chantal.
Folder 1

Subseries 2 : Yarra Valley Grammar School, 1999(14 items)

Description: This collection comprises greeting cards and a calendar containing messages of good will for Australian troops in Timor. They were presented to Major General Peter Cosgrove by Australian singer John Farnham on behalf of Yarra Valley Grammar School, the school attended by his son James.

File Title/Description Box/Folder
1/2/1 Jolliffe's Outback Calendar
2000 Calendar containing hand written good will messages to the Australian troops in Timor.
Folder 3
1/2/2 Merry Xmas: Keep Up the Good Work
Hand-made Christmas card from Stefanie and Chloe, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a colour Christmas Tree stuck on black paper.
Folder 3
1/2/3 We are in Yarra Valley Grammar School...
Hand-made Christmas card from Yarra Valley Grammar School, author unknown. Includes a drawing of Santa Claus on yellow paper.
Folder 3
1/2/4 Thanks: Merry Christmas
Hand-made Christmas card from Josh, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a good will message on orange paper.
Folder 3
1/2/5 Troops in East Timor Merry Christmas
Hand-made Christmas card from Yohan, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a good will message on green paper.
Folder 3
1/2/6 Merry Christmas
Hand-made Christmas card from Patrick and Edward, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a Christmas Tree stuck on orange paper.
Folder 3
1/2/7 Troops in East Timor
Hand-made Christmas card from Nick and Matt, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a Christmas Tree stuck on red paper.
Folder 3
1/2/8 Keep Up the Good Work
Hand-made Christmas card from Chris, Brendan and Paul, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a hand drawn map of East Timor on white paper.
Folder 3
1/2/9 Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year
Hand-made Christmas card from James, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes a drawing of a face on green paper.
Folder 3
1/2/10 Good Luck and Keep Up the High Spirits
Hand-made Christmas card from Brielle and Jenelle, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes flowers on yellow paper.
Folder 3
1/2/11 Merry Christmas: Good Luck in the Year 2000
Hand-made Christmas card from Natalie and Kirstie, Yarra Valley Grammar School. Includes flowers on yellow paper.
Folder 3
1/2/12 Merry Christmas Soldiers
Hand-made Christmas card from Yarra Valley Grammar School, author unknown. Includes drawings of faces on white paper.
Folder 3
1/2/13 We Wish You Merry Christmas
Hand-made Christmas card from Yarra Valley Grammar School, author unknown. Crayon on white paper.
Folder 3
1/2/14 Thank You
Commercially printed card including handwritten thank you and good luck messages from Australians to Australian troops in Timor. Cover includes a print of a piano with streamers, confetti and balloons.
Folder 3

Subseries 3 : Greeting Cards - General (2 items)

Description: This collection comprises a variety of greeting cards which were obtained by, sent to, or sent from Australian troops in Timor.

File Title/Description Box/Folder
1/3/1 Haksolok Natal Ho Tira Diak! Merry Christmas and Good Shooting!
Commercially printed Christmas card for 1999, including a take on messages conveyed to Timorese people relating to the work of the peacekeeping force, in this case a sign demonstrating not to shoot Santa Clause.
Folder 1
1/3/2 Don't let your Christmas be ruined by a low flying Santa!
Commercially printed Christmas card for 1999, including a photo of an old aeroplane disintergrating.
Folder 1
Subseries 4 : Calendars - General(1 item)

Description

This collection comprises calendars which were obtained by or sent to Australian troops in Timor.