30 August 2022 marked the 22nd anniversary of the UN supervised Popular Consultation or referendum, which led to independence for Timor-Leste. INTERFET, the Australian-led International Force for East Timor contained more than 5,000 Australian soldiers, making it Australia's largest military deployment since the Vietnam War.

Many Australians are rightly proud of their country's contribution to Timor-Leste's independence, which could be seen as a historical corrective to Australia's long-standing support for Indonesia's invasion and forced integration of East Timor in 1975-76.

Yet despite the goodwill INTERFET engendered in Timor-Leste for the Australian people, relations between the two nations rapidly became undermined by contentious negotiations over control of the lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea. While the 'Maritime Boundary' issue has been solved, it is clear now that bilateral differences of opinion over the processing of the jointly owned resources are by no means a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to see Australia's relations with Timor-Leste purely through the lens of the hydrocarbon resources at the bottom of the sea.

AIIA Victoria invites you to join Dr Helen Hill to discuss the many other aspects to the relationship between the two close neighbouring countries, including development assistance, commercial, people-to-people and civil society relations.

To download the pdf flyer please click here.

If registering for the webinar,you will be sent an access link on the day.

AIIA Victoria gratefully acknowledges the Walter Mangold Trust Fund for its ongoing support of our young members.


AIIA VIC, Dyason House
124 Jolimont Road
East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia

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