This page features a selection of documents from the collection of the Melbourne-based Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFOA) Human Rights office (~1979-2000).

The documents exhibited here are a very small sample illustrating the ACFOAHR interest and involvements in the tumultuous final year of the Indonesian military occupation in 1999.

View Documents & Folders: Click on the item title or image to read a document. Click on the 'From Folder' link to view the whole folder from which each document came.

More information on the ACFOA Human Rights office and its archival collection, see: Remembering 1999: ACFOA Human Rights office archives

19 JAN 1999: Richard Woolcott on Australian Timor policy changes.

Woolcott believes moves towards an independent East Timor will threaten Australia’s economic interests secured by the Indonesia-Australia Timor Gap Treaty.

From Folder: Media – DFAT – 1/4

04 FEB 1999: Laurie Brereton speech on ‘Australia and East Timor’.

Labor Party shadow foreign minister reflects on Australian government policy since 1974 and explains recent changes to Labor Party policy to support East Timorese self-determination.

From Folder: EAST TIMOR 1999 – Brereton

11 MAR 1999: Media item, ‘Can an independent East Timor survive’.

Asian Wall Street Journal piece by Michael Backman showing that arguments against East Timorese independence on economic grounds are highly questionable.

From Folder: ET 1999 – General Reports. Part 2

20 MAR 1999: AusAID fact-finding mission to East Timor report.

A brief report on general conditions in Timor and recommendations on possible official Australian responses in the areas of food and health.

From Folder: EAST TIMOR 1999 – AusAid

30 MAR 1999: Australian official aid to East Timor.

Various AusAID notes on Australian aid to Timor, including an historical summary and 1999 funding for ‘reconciliation activities’.

From Folder: EAST TIMOR 1999 – AusAid

5-9 APR 1999: Strategic Development Planning Conference Results.

A succinct guide to the topics and recommendations of the East Timorese-run planning-for-independence conference in Melbourne. Includes text of letter from imprisoned Xanana Gusmao to the conference delegates.

From Folder: ET 1999 – General Reports. Part 2

16 APR 1999: Amnesty International report on militia attacks.

A brief report on pro-integration East Timorese paramilitary attacks on civilian East Timorese during late 1998 and early 1999, including the Indonesian police-backed militia killings in Liquica on 6 April 1999.

From Folder: ET 1999 – General Reports. Part 2

05 MAY 1999: Portugal / Indonesia / United Nations agreement on Ballot.

Copies of various documents signed at the UN between Kofi Annan, Jaime Gama and Ali Alatas concerning terms of the referendum, security and Indonesia’s autonomy proposal.

From Folder: UNAMET

24 MAY 1999: Parliamentary Library paper on Timor ‘major current issues.

A detailed assessment of the political, military and humanitarian situation; prepared for all members of the Australian national parliament.

From Folder: ET 1999 – General Reports. Part 2

30 MAY 1999: Australian union paper on ‘The Future of East Timor’.

A background paper from the Australian Council of Trades Unions (ACTU). Summarises the Timor situation and calls on Australian unionists to act in support of East Timorese self-determination.

From Folder: ET 1999 – General Reports. Part 2

12 JUN 1999: Report of ACFOA delegation to Timor.

Led by ACFOA executive director, Janet Hunt, the delegation examined conditions in East Timor. It reported on security and humanitarian conditions and made a broad set of recommendations in these areas.

From Folder: ET 1999 – ACFOA – Statements / Reports

30 JUN 1999: UN rules for international observers.

Accreditation procedures and Code of Conduct for international observers of the Popular Consultation. [Date uncertain]

From Folder: AETIVP – Observers – UNAMET

05 AUG 1999: UNAMET report on militia attacks at Batugade

Detailed account of circumstances surrounding militia attacks on staff at a voter registration centre.

From Folder: 1999 Vote

15 AUG-02 SEP 1999: AETIVP incident reports

Formal pro-forma reports and observations from Australian volunteer observers at 26 polling stations throughout East Timor.

From Folder: AETIVP – Post-Ballot Action

30 AUG 1999: AETIVP polling day observer reports.

Australian volunteer ballot observers reports on pre- and post-ballot intimidation and violence, mainly by militia members.

From Folder: 1999 Vote

03 SEP 1999: ACFOA letter to Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

ACFOA human rights coordinator Pat Walsh, writing after the ballot but before the results were announced, urges Foreign Minister Downer to take a number of steps to improve the security of the East Timorese population and UN staff.

From Folder: ET 1999 – ACFOA – Correspondence

21 SEP 1999: AETIVP individual observations.

Reports on observations in pre- and post-ballot period by members of the Australian East Timor International Volunteers Project. Topics range from militia violations to Falintil August 20 party in Ermera district.

From Folder: 1999 Vote

22 SEP 1999: UN and NGO humanitarian needs assessment

A planning document for UN agencies and various non-government aid organisations to address East Timor’s post-ballot humanitarian and governance needs. Written from Darwin, Australia.

From Folder: UNAMET

01 OCT 1999: Amnesty International report on witness testimonies.

Summaries of personal experience of ballot-period human rights violations from Timorese evacuated to Australia.

From Folder: East Timor 1999 – General Reports. 1/2

28 OCT 1999: Amnesty International report ‘Demand for Justice’.

Report summarises ballot-period human rights violations in Timor and urges governments and international bodies to seek justice for the victims and hold perpetrators to account.

From Folder: East Timor 1999 – General Reports. 1/2

09 NOV 1999: KPP-HAM report on refugees in West Timor.

English- and Indonesian-language report from a subsidiary of Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (KOMNASHAM). Addresses militia attempts to limit/control refugee repatriations to East Timor.

From Folder: West Timor

15 NOV 1999: ACFOA report on refugees in West Timor.

Written by Katharine Grimshaw and Pat Walsh, this report describes refugee conditions and especially the continuing power of militia members in West Timor.

From Folder: West Timor

29 NOV 1999: Guide to Australian NGO activity in Timor.

A structured list of individual Australian humanitarian agencies working in post-Ballot Timor, describing general mission, contact information and summary of activities.

From Folder: ET 1999 – AETWG – Agencies

27 NOV – 03 DEC 1999: Early UNTAET Regulations.

ETAN (US) reproductions of the first three regulations of the UN Transitional Authority. The regulations addressed UNTAET authority, establishment of the National Consultative Council and the Transitional Judicial Service Commission.

From Folder: UNAMET

03 DEC 1999: Human Rights Watch report on refugees in West Timor.

Describes the plight of Timorese refugees in West Timor, evidence of forced expulsions by the Indonesian army and recommendations to the Indonesian government, the international community and UNHCR.

From Folder: West Timor

10 JAN 2000: CARITAS report on criminal evidence collection and NGO roles.

Summarises findings on official programs to investigate ballot-era human rights violations and makes recommendations on enhancing East Timorese NGO contribution to collecting evidence.

From Folder: ET 1999 – AETWG – Agencies