I sit here

Blinking back tears

Flying home

Over the starkly beautiful

Ochre red country

Of Central Australia

Having experienced

A four day ‘intensive’

In Timor Leste.

While ostensibly

For professional, educational purposes

I have been blindsided

By the depth of

My emotions

Due to my connection

with the Henriques family

over nearly 30 years

I had spoken of this trip

As ‘closing a circle’

But I now realise

It has been much more

There is

an ember

of my reaction

to the atrocities committed

against the people of Timor Leste

my country

partly to blame.

This ember was fanned into flame

As I was given the ‘royal’ treatment

Through the Resistance Museum

The intensity of that flame

Startled me

What had I done?

I’d tried (and still do) to educate and

Raise awareness

But here I was


In Timor Leste

The tsunami of pain

Which began in 1975

Which touched my life in 1985

Continues to leave

A trail in its wake

The healing and development

Of Timor and its people

Has begun

But it is a slow task

I hope to continue to walk part of that journey

With them

Timor Leste

Four intense days

How can I make sense of all

That I experienced?

In essence, as always, it is

About people.


Bureaucracy changes face

But its bizarre logic is familiar.

Young babies still reach out

And grab whatever they can

With all their might.


People aspire

People experience disappointment

People are frustrated

People hope



Skin colour

‘Level of development’

are unimportant.







These are central, as always


“You do justice where your feet are”

A wise man said


Where are your feet?

How are you acting for justice?