The Australia-East Timor Association recently donated its archive to VU Library Special Collections to add research strength to the existing VU Library Timor-Leste Special Collection in support of the VU and Timor-Leste community partnership. The donated items can be viewed by appointment.

Established in 1975 after occupation of East Timor by Indonesia, the Australia-East Timor Association (AETA) served as an information, solidarity and networking organisation to support the struggle for independence of East Timor. After 24 years of occupation, East Timor became independent in 2002 following a referendum supervised by the United Nations in 1999.

Since 1975 the AETA members have been documenting the work and support activities of the AETA, and collecting material relating to similar organisations which supported the East Timor independence movement. The AETA documentation and the material collected by AETA have been donated to VU Library in 77 archive boxes and a significant poster collection.

The AETA archival team – namely Jean McLean (Life Member and Deputy Chairperson of AETA), Dr Ann Wigglesworth (Secretary of AETA), Glenda Lasslett (Chairperson of AETA) and Roger King (Treasurer of AETA – together with Cecily Gilbert, Julia Waddingham and John Waddingham from CHART (Clearing House for Archival Records on Timor) provided the material to VU Library ready for access by researchers.

What’s in the AETA archive

The VU Library Timor-Leste Special Collection now includes:

  • AETA material related to its actions, administration, correspondence, minutes/meetings, publications and realia as well as material about ACET (Australian Coalition for East Timor)
  • non-AETA material about activists, governments, media, NGOs, solidarity groups and East Timorese activism.

VU Library welcomes inquiries from the VU research community, and individuals or groups external to the university. Email the Special Collections Librarians ([email protected]) with your queries or to arrange an appointment to view items.