Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre

September 21st, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Communications Technology, Friends of Suai News, Media Project 2006 -, Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre Comments Off on Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre

Egy has sent through photos of the satellite dish that has brought broadband access to the youth centre in Suai and a media house dedicated to regional journalism thanks to ICFJ.Satellite-for-sms-web Egy in pink T Shirt with various others he has brought into the photo without giving names.
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Ten years on no justice for Suai massacre victims

September 8th, 2009 jen Posted in 1999, Acts of Remembrance, Friends of Suai News Comments Off on Ten years on no justice for Suai massacre victims

10th-A-candles_1Ten years after the Suai Church Massacre and nine since I was in Suai for the first Anniversary a lot has changed but the most important thing for the victims of the Suai Church massacre, which is justice, is still elusive. Flag-Half-mastAt the Port Phillip St Kilda Town Hall yesterday the Timorese flag ran at half mast while the Friends of Suai, with visitor Alberto Barros from Suai, and Balthasar Kehi from Fatumea, both of Cova Lima, placed rocks on the pristine parquetry floor in the foyer of this  huge monument to Roman Greek architecture, presumably designed to remind the residents of Port Phillip of the history of democracy with which we nostagically associate justice.  The Friends of Suai were commemorating  this important date in the history of the Friendship with Suai.   The Suai Church Massacre was the devastating event that, along with widespread destruction to infrastructure and homes,  that led to the formation of the friendship to assist in the recovery of Suai following the ballot for independence on August, 30th, 1999. What values we all wonder, are being communicated to Australians, the Timorese people and the rest of the world, when justice is not pursued, what ever the cost. Why do the Timorese people have to be the ones to live without justice? Forgiveness and its possibility may lie in our hearts, but without justice it becomes impossible for all but the most pious. It is my personal view that it is a basic human need to find justice, to be able move forward to peace of mind. Australia's indigenous people have made this clear to us as have the millions of others who have suffered injustice. Anyone who has suffered from injustice knows the strong feelings of indignation and overwhelming sadness when one's suffering and human dignity is not recognised by a judicial process. The existential anxiety that accompanies injustice and loss of human dignity is well documented in the songs and stories written and performed by the people of Suai on suai media space. It is not my place to call for justice for the Timorese, unless they call for me to stand beside them. In the past week the rumblings of discontent and calls for the need for justice, that began several years ago are building up.  In Suai, some friends  have prepared questions for their leaders, and they are planning to stage a protest today, for the leaders of East Timor who will be in Suai for the remembrance ceremonies.  Knowing that several protestors in Dili were arrested last week, means that once again the youth of East Timor are putting their own futures at risk to test their new democracy, as they did in 1991, and throughout the student movement of the nineties, to show the way to a  just future for their country. Armindo: Come Back To Your Country The Innocent Ones Further links to stories. For the best coverage following the story of the release of Maternus Bere who was indicted for Cimes Against Himanity in the Suai Church Massacre and other Laksaur militia activities: Laohamutuk AFP : Headline: Ten years on, no justice for ETimor's Suai massacre victims Brisbane Times: Headline: Massacre suspect's release draws warning from UN The Jakarta Post:  Headline: Ramos-Horta's refusal of court prolongs painful way to justice
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United Malaes put humour into call for justice

September 6th, 2009 jen Posted in Friends of Suai News, Humour in a call for justice, News from Suai 1 Comment »

Received from friends today by email. The following press release appeared in Dili this morning. I  thought it should be shared.  I don't believe the re-enactment took place. -- Charlie United Malaes

PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE 4 September 2009 Special Representatives of the United Malaes considered arriving at Hotel Timor at 07.00 hours today, 4 September 2009, to perform a re-enactment of the announcement of the Popular Consultation results which occurred ten years ago in this very place. UM Chief of Mission Mian Martin declared the Popular Consultation a great success, and today conveyed the results of a second Popular Consultation, held between August 30 1999 and August 30 2009. Following is the text of his speech: We have now counted all the votes. One million Timorese people have voted in this Popular Consultation, or an astonishing 98.5% of the population. The people were asked to choose between accepting Special Impunity for Indonesia, or rejecting Special Impunity in favour of Independent Justice. I can now announce the results: 2 votes for Special Impunity for Indonesia, and 999,998 votes for Independent Justice. I now ask, on behalf of the United Malais and the international community, that the results of the Popular Consultation be implemented in a timely and peaceful manner. I particularly request that the 2 persons who voted for Special Impunity respect the will of the people and allow independent justice to proceed in accordance with Timorese and international laws. Let us now move forward, together, to uphold the human rights of this new nation. The people have voted, overwhelmingly, against Special Impunity and in favour of Independent Justice. We of the UM offer you our support. Your human rights are our human rights. Together, we will see justice done! Thank you.
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Rock Messages to Suai 2009

September 3rd, 2009 jen Posted in 2009, Acts of Remembrance, Friends of Suai News, News from Port Phillip, Rock Messages to Suai 2009 Comments Off on Rock Messages to Suai 2009

Click on the image to read by enlargement of rock messages painted  by Port Phillip residents to the people of Suai in 2001 & 2003. Posted on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Suai Church Massacre Rocks written painted and drawn on in 2001 by members of the Port Phillip community, at the Second Anniversary of the Suai Church Massacre are still  relevant.
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Art Asia Pacific picks up Suai Artist from Suai Media Space

August 31st, 2009 jen Posted in Art News (International), Friends of Suai News 1 Comment »

Suai Media Space role in profiling the work of the artists of Suai has brought a significant pay off for Arte Moris senior artist from Suai Loro Natalino dos reis Pires. Natalino's work was recently included in an exhibition at Bundoora Homestead Victoria which was featured in a story on Suai Media Space. It was here that Art Asia Pacific were able to see photographs of the work and subsequently requested photographs of five works for publication in their annual Almanac which is distributed internationally. This is a great compliment to Natalino and a tribute to the hard work of Manager of Arte Moris Gabriela Gansser who initiated the exhibition in cooperation with her Australian 'Friends of Bacau'. The paintings they have selected include: Amali 2, Gerasaun, Horta, Abat, Muda Moris and Toko Adat which can be viewed here.  The selection is interesting to me because it provides a combination of representations that cover the transformation of Timorese identity and trauma.
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Friendship burrows its way to VegOut Community Garden

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Friends of Suai News, VegOut Community Gardens Donate 3 Comments »

VegOut donated $2,000 to a Permaculture Garden in Suai and St Kilda Artist Liz Milsom (daughter of George Milsom) and I recently took Suai Loro and Arte Moris artists Anata and Kiki there. Anata spent the whole time video taping - if you could see Arte Moris the Free Art School in Dili you would see why. Arte Moris also have vegetable gardens, compost heaps and sculptures built from recycled bits and pieces. The boys were homesick and this was like a home away from home. VegOut is the community garden in St Kilda established on the St Kilda Bowling club grounds. When the Bowling Club closed down a group of artists established their studios there and the lawns were converted to organic garden plots for members of the community to work. St Kilda residents predominantly live in flats, so to have access to a garden is highly desired by some of the residents. In more recent years the group invited local/regional Produce growers to establish a Producer's market next to the gardens on the first Saturday of every month. It has grown into a very popular event for locals. We took Anata and Kiki along because it's a great atmosphere, but also because VegOut sell Timorese coffee there for the Friends of Suai and Timorese Melbourne residents have a preserved chilli chutney stall there. After nine years the friendship really is beginning to burrow its way into the community when this is happening.
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Human Sign brings unique friendship in the ‘N’ in HANDS

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Climate Change - Human Sign, Friends of Suai News, News from Port Phillip Comments Off on Human Sign brings unique friendship in the ‘N’ in HANDS

How did this happen? East Timorese artist Anata, Los Palos artist Kiki, St Kilda artist Liz Milsom, my old friend Trish and myself all ended up together in the 'N' in HANDS for the Climate Change action in St Kilda last month next to Pat Jessen and others, while my daughter Kate tried to film with a camera she had never touched before!  Well that's the way this friendship with people in Suai is evolving. But this story is not about Anata or my daughter or photography. It is the beginning of a bigger story about Liz Milsom and her father George and the strange ways this international friendship weaves its mysterious web. In this particular case it goes back all the way to 1941.  Liz's father served in the Australian Army in World War 2. He wasn't a trained artist but he liked to draw, he painted water colours, and he surely had an artist's spirit, a spirit that comes clearly through his collection.  George Milsom died when Liz was a child so one of the ways she grew to know him was through his collection of memorabilia, letters he wrote from East Timor to his family, his water colours and maps, as well as official photographs sent to him of Timor at that time. In June this year when Suai Loro artist Anata was in Melbourne for the Bundoora Exhibition I introduced him to Liz and the circle of friendship began again. Anata and Liz met up when we all went to St Kilda Beach to make the human sign to give ourselves a morale boost while giving our politicians a clear message that we are relying on them to help us to change our habits and take the message to Copenhagen. After meeting we did a swag of trips and dinners together and shot a little bit of video about it too which I will post as soon as I can. In the meantime here's the slideshow. Anata and Kiki loved the Human Sign, VEGOUT, the Artist Studios and the visit to Rickett's Sanctuary in the Dandenongs. It's difficult to pick a highlight because they also had the opportunity to go to the Palais to a concert to see Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu who was backed up by Timorese singer songwriter Ego Lemos. Our request to film the concert  was refused but just so you can hear the kind of music these boys love here Yunupingu is singing one of their favourites on YouTube.
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Monash Work of Visiting Artists from East Timor

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Artist Visits, Friend Visits, Friends of Suai News Comments Off on Monash Work of Visiting Artists from East Timor

While Natalino and Grinaldo were in Melbourne they spent two weeks in the Fine Arts Department of Monash University. This is some photographs of the work they did while they were here.

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Friends of Suai Co-ordinator visits Port Phillip

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Friend Visits, Port Phillip Visits, Simao Barretto Visits Comments Off on Friends of Suai Co-ordinator visits Port Phillip

Simao da Silva Barreto Suai Community Centre Co-ordinator visited Australia in August 2007 for 2 weeks. The purpose of his visit was to meet the many supporters of Friends of Suai at the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) and present an evaluation completed by the Suai Commission, staff and partners and discuss the direction of our ongoing work together. Simao is a respected community leader in Suai and teaches in the public secondary school most mornings.

The Port Phillip council has a 10 year friendship agreement to build a strong relationship with the people of Suai. The Friends of Suai comprised of local residents & friends began in 2000 and supports the Suai Community Centre funded by the City of Port Phillip, works with the District Administration, Youth Centre and other partners.

Seventy people attended a public meeting to meet Simao and hear about developments in Suai and the District of Covalima. Port Phillip Council provides an annual grant and residents have generously donated to Suai since 2000. 'The donations are really making a difference to peoples’ lives' he told us. 'There was nothing after the Indonesian milita left Covalima in 1999, now things are beginning to improve' he told us . Let’s hope it continues.

Cr Karen Sait on behalf of Mayor and councillors commissioned a traditional East Timor Tais Weaving for the new St Kilda town hall. This will mean that the young women will learn how to produce the old dyes and thread to weave the Tais. Simao spent time in the schools of Port Phillip visiting Elwood College over 3 days, St Columba’s, Galilee and Elwood Primary schools. He attended a regional schools civics conference at Caulfield Grammar.

At Elwood college he attended various classes and addressed a special lunchtime meeting with Year 12 politics students studying democracy and citizenship, Michael Danby MP, Evan Thornley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Victorian Premier and Cr Janet Cribbes  attended the luncheon.

Port Phillip staff showed Simao around he visited St Kilda Town Hall, Council Depot, Port Melbourne Hub, and other activities. Simao looked over the St Kilda Indigenous nursery cooperative (SKINC) to compare notes on strengthening a similar project in Suai. Balwyn Rotary Club are old friends of Suai and welcomed him as guest speaker. Rotary have offered a grant in partnership with Port Phillip to fund solar power for 4 remote health clinics. They are also discussing refurbishment of derelict buildings at the Suai secondary school. He visited 3CR  community radio, Alternative Technology Association and Engineers without Borders. City of Kiama NSW who are new friends of the sub district of Zumalai in Covalima with a population of 14,000 people. Simao visted Kiama and hoped to catch a glimpse of Sydney harbour on his way home.

Special thanks to CoPP staff and the Friends of Suai Committee Members and residents of Port Phillip.

Pat Jessen, Coordinator Friends of Suai August 2007

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Suai Sub District Administrator Visits Melbourne

August 1st, 2009 patjessen Posted in Friend Visits, Friends of Suai News, Port Phillip Visits, Senor Francisco d'Jesus Alvares visit Comments Off on Suai Sub District Administrator Visits Melbourne

From Pat Jessen - May, 2009
Last week Francisco d’Jesus Alvares the Sub District Administrator for Suai, Timor Leste visited Port Phillip.
Francisco was in Melbourne to attend training through Victorian Government’s Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD. Francisco and and Rui da Costa, Sub District Administrator Lacluta Viqueque, had 4 weeks intensive English training and were placed at Wangaratta City Council to learn about local government in Australia and community development in a rural setting in Australia.
Friends of Suai (FoS) committee hosted a dinner for them in Port Phillip to hear about their experiences both in Australia and their work in Timor Leste. Francisco met with FoS Chairperson Bill Armstrong and Coordinator Pat Jessen to give an update on his work in Suai.
Francisco also visited the St Kilda Town Hall for a round table discussion with the Mayor of Port Phillip Cr Frank O’Connor, Cr Rachel Powning, the Friends of Suai council representative and Governance team, to discuss the first up and coming municipal elections planned for 2009/2010.
The municipal elections are planned to roll out with village level elections in September 2009, followed by legislative and president elections that will be staged in 2010. The new municipal system will decentralise government to the districts providing greater opportunity for much needed development and infrastructure in rural and remote locations like Suai.
Snr Francisco visited the State Library many times whilst in Melbourne and we showed him the St Kilda Library because he mentioned he would like to see a municipal library in the heart of Suai.
Francisco said he enjoyed his visit to Melbourne, especially the opportunity to see snow on Mt Buffalo or Buffalo Mountain as he described it. He visited schools in Wangaratta and was impressed with youth participation and older people’s participation being valued in local decision making. The Friends of Lacluta in Wangaratta made them both very welcome showing them the sights in their region.
It was a great opportunity for everyone to get together.
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