Remembering the Triumph of Independence in Timor Leste

Aug 30, 2019

“The labour movement has always had a commitment to sovereignty and the right of people to choose their own destiny.”

– Sharon Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC


On the twentieth anniversary of Timor Leste’s independence, we’re celebrating the decades of solidarity between the Timorese and Australian people by releasing an excerpt fromLivelihoods and Liberation Struggles: Thirty Years of Australian Worker Solidarity”, recounting the tension and triumph of independence.


The 1999 referendum was a vote for independence and freedom that gave to the Timorese people the sovereignty which had been denied through decades of colonisation and conflict.

Excerpt_Timor Erupts_Chapter 12

Soon after the referendum, independence leader Xanana Gusmao acknowledged the work of the union movement and Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA:

“I commend the Australian union movement and its humanitarian aid agency Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA for your solidarity and support to our independence struggle and your ongoing commitment to supporting us in developing health, education, reconstruction and human rights programs.”

Read the history of global union solidarity

You can purchase “Livelihoods and Liberation Struggles” at the Union Aid Abraod – APHEDA shop today.

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