Guide to the East Timor Collection.




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.

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.; SERIES 2: Internet Media, 1999-2002 (1 item). Description: This collection contains material published on the internet relating to the East Timor peacekeeping mission.; SERIES 3: Leaflets (225 items). Description: This collection consists of leaflets produced in the lead up to, and during, the East Timor peacekeeping mission. It includes material produced by the UN bodies involved in the mission as well as Australian military bodies. A small part of the collection is produced by the civilian community in support of the East Timor people.; SERIES 4: Media Briefings and Releases, Department of Defence (Nil).; SERIES 5: Newspapers and Magazines (6 items). Description: This collection contains newspapers and magazines produced and disseminated by government bodies and INTERFET troops.; SERIES 6: Documents and Stationery (3 items). Description: This collection contains stationery and non-official documents collected from East Timor.; SERIES 7: Postcards(14 postcards). Description: Collection of postcards, predominantly featuring photographic images of East Timorese people at work or interacting with peacekeeping soldiers, INTERFET service personnel at work and military vehicles or vessels. Most of the images were taken by service personnel. None of the postcards have been used.; SERIES 8: Posters (5 items). Description: This collection contains posters used in East Timor and posters produced by the Australian War Memorial. The posters used in East Timor include informative posters for the peacekeeping forces and a decorative poster used by the Indonesian military. The posters produced by the Australian War Memorial advertise a photographic exhibition relating to INTERFET.; SERIES 9: Publications(7 items). Description: This collection contains publications and documents produced and disseminated by government bodies and other publications and documents issued to troops. It includes information to service personnel to prepare them for deployment in East Timor and assist them on their return to Australia. They provide background information on Indonesia and East Timor, instructional information for rules of engagement and service equipment as well as psychological advice for separation from, and reunion with, family members. It also includes a copy of the Gospel of Luke in Timorese disseminated by INTERFET Chaplains.; SERIES 10: Satirical Cartoons (Nil).; SERIES 11: Souvenirs (19 items). Description: This collection contains souvenirs related to the 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.

Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Open - Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Selected additional and related material available at using the search terms described under 'subject _local'. Copies of many items from the Memorial's collections may also be purchased @


Calendars; Greeting cards; Leaflets; Postcards

East Timor; East Timor Map Collection

Military service; Peacekeeping

Coverage Spatial

East Timor

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


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