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Transcript 18391

Australia to provide historical film and images to East Timor

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/02/2012

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 18391

The Australian Government will provide East Timor with a collection of historically significant and rare films and photographs to help celebrate its 10th anniversary of independence.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today presented East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão with a framed photograph and two historical films taken in East Timor during the 1920's and during World War II to mark the start of the unique project.

The National Film and Sound Archives (NFSA) holds a broad collection of audiovisual materials taken in East Timor which will be of great value to one of the world's youngest nations.

As East Timor has a limited collection of historical documents, the archival materials will help contribute to the country's sense of national identity and provide a deeper understanding of the their political and cultural history.

The Australian Government will provide funding to the NFSA to help it identify archival material of cultural and historical importance to East Timor.

The first short film presented to Prime Minister Gusmão today depicts rarely seen village life in Portuguese Timor in the 1920's taken by oil and gas explorers.

It is believed to be the oldest existing footage taken in East Timor.

The second film, shot by Australian war cinematographer Damien Parer, depicts the little known but tremendous support provided by East Timorese locals to Australian servicemen who were fighting the Japanese on the island during World War II.

The photograph presented today is an image of a young East Timorese boy taken from Parer's footage.

The 10th anniversary is an important milestone for the country's young democracy.

East Timor will conduct presidential and parliamentary elections this year - their third since independence.

The Australian people have a special affinity with East Timor stretching back many decades.

Australia was at the forefront of international support for East Timor's transition to independence and has since been a dedicated partner in helping the country become a stable, peaceful and more prosperous nation.

As a close neighbour, Australia remains strongly committed to East Timor's future and development priorities, providing an estimated $124 million in assistance in 2011-12.

The Australian Government has announced the ‘Roads for Development' program which will provide $30 million over four years for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the road system in Timor-Leste, providing short-term employment for an estimated 52,000 Timorese and increased access to schools and health services in rural areas.

The ‘Rural Water Supply and Sanitation' program also will supply $45 million over four years, andby the end of 2012will provide an additional 35,000 East Timorese with access to basic sanitation, as well as access for an additional 90,000 East Timorese to safe, reliable, and sustainable water supplies.

Transcript 18391