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Title Compass: Remembering Timor
Published Australia : ABC, 2010
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Description 1 streaming video file (28 min. 43 sec.) ; 173085522 bytes
Summary On Anzac Day, Compass tells the story of Sister Susan Connelly's bid to have East Timor officially honoured for its wartime assistance to Australia. Sister Susan is a Josephite nun based in Sydney's western suburbs. Since 1994 she and other members of the Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission have been supporting the people of this struggling new nation.In East Timor Sister Susan has learned the little known story of the 'criados' - young Timorese men and boys who helped Australian troops during World War Two.In December 1941 specially trained Australian commandos - code-named 'Sparrow Force'- were sent to the island to thwart the Japanese advance on Australia.At the time East Timor was a colony of Portugal, a country that remained neutral in WW2. Yet the Australians' arrival brought war to Portuguese Timor and made the locals a Japanese target. The Australians waged a successful guerrilla campaign against the invading Japanese in the rugged mountainous terrain where they relied on the Timorese criados for their survival. Though not engaged in combat, the young criados risked their lives to support the Australian commandos providing food, local knowledge and practical help, all critical to the Australian campaign that succeeded in weakening and delaying Japanese forces. Yet when the Australians were evacuated to safety the criados were left behind. Tens of thousands of Timorese were slaughtered in the Japanese reprisals that followed. Of the few Timorese criados who survived the war, only a small number are still alive today and their role has almost been forgotten. Compass follows Sister Susan as she visits the surviving criados and attends ceremonies to honour Australians and Timorese who served in the 1940s, and later during Timor's struggle for independence.At an Anzac Day event near Dili, she tells East Timor's President, Jose Ramos-Horta about her campaign for greater recognition of his country's wartime service to Australia.The President is one among many to learn of Sister Susan's plan. Back in Australia, she and a team of volunteers will convince thousands of Australians to sign a petition asking their government to support an honour for East Timor.Like Sister Susan, they want the East Timorese to know Australia will never forget the criados.PRODUCTION DETAILS:Compass Executive Producer: Rose Hesp
Notes Closed captioning in English
Event Broadcast 2010-04-25 at 22:05:00
Notes Classification: PG
Subject Anzac Day.
Armed Forces -- Equipment and supplies.
Humanitarian assistance.
Timor (Indonesian people)
World War (1939-1945)
Timor-Leste.
Form Streaming video
Author Bradbury, David, contributor
Chamberlain, Ernie, contributor
Conley, Ralph, contributor
Connelly, Susan, contributor
Correia, Rufino Alves, contributor
Doogue, Geraldine, host
Pedroso, Moses Sousa, contributor
Ramos-Horta, Jose, contributor
Silva, Guilhermino Buru Bara da, contributor
Snowden, Warren, contributor
Westblade, Joan, contributor