[TimorLesteStudies] 2nd World War Memorial Museum and Cafe Project - Fatunaba, Timor-Leste

Kirsty Sword Gusmao kirsty at alolafoundation.org
Thu Apr 2 10:53:38 EST 2009



In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the 
historic Dare/Fatunaba memorial, the community of Fatunaba in 
conjunction with Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the Australian Embassy in Dili 
and the F-FDTL (Defence Force of Timor-Leste) will open a Museum and 
Café at the memorial site on 25 April, 2009. The memorial, built in 
1969 in the hills overlooking Dili, was a gift to the people of East 
Timor from members of the 2/2nd and 2/4th independent companies. The 
Museum, a repository of documents, photos and memorabilia relating to 
the Australian presence on Timor during the 2nd World War, is the first 
of its kind in Timor-Leste and will contribute significantly to 
building a greater understanding amongst East Timorese and foreign 
visitors alike of this moment in history and the enduring bonds of 
friendship and camaraderie which emerged from it.

“Over 40,000 East Timorese people lost their lives as a consequence of 
their involvement in the Australian campaign on Timor”, says Kirsty 
Sword Gusmão, wife of East Timor’s Prime Minister and initiator of the 
project. “This Museum project honours the memory of those selfless 
Timorese who lived and fought alongside Australian soldiers, but also, 
very importantly, it is a tribute to the friendship and solidarity 
between the people of our two nations which had its beginnings in that 
dark page of our shared histories.”

A Primary School built with private donations also features on the 
memorial site, its 300 local students being the living custodians of 
the memory and history housed within the museum complex. The school’s 
official opening will be celebrated on the same occasion.

“It is fitting that the opening of this School, Museum and Café be on 
Anzac Day, the day when Australia remembers the debt it owes its own 
veterans” says Peter Heyward, Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste. 
“The Museum will help keep alive the spirit of the Dare memorial; 
recalling the unique bonds that Timorese forged with Australian troops. 
But the project also respects the intent of the veterans who 
established the memorial by providing practical assistance to the local 
community through the School and the Café.”

Organising Committee:

-	Community of Fatunaba/Dare
-	Kirsty Sword Gusmão
-	Australian Embassy in Dili
-	F-FDTL (Defence Force of Timor-Leste)

For further information, please contact:
Jenny Coles
Email: pa_ksg at alolafoundation.org
Tel: +670 7321288

Kirsty Sword Gusmao
Chairwoman, The Alola Foundation
PO Box 3
Timor-Leste (via Darwin, Australia)
Website: http://www.alolafoundation.org
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