Missing Things

Melbourne, 9 September 2020

You know you are starved for social contact beyond your immediate family circle when …

You miss a call from a close friend in Brisbane. It appears she has left you a voice message, so you settle down amongst the litter of papers, Aldi catalogues & unpaid bills on your bed-cum-desk to play it back. Uh oh …. as it turns out, she hasn’t left a message at all but, thinking she has ended the call, has left the voice message recording running. From her pocket or wherever her phone is stored, I hear the muffled voice of my friend, probably out walking her dogs. Sounds of nature, of mirth as my friend interacts with another woman greet my ears. Feeling a bit like an eavesdropper, I wonder whether I should cease my listening – perhaps I might overhear something I shouldn’t be privy to. But they are having fun, sharing a joke, and there is birdsong and the rustle of grass or leaves … but best and most enticing of all, is the sweet and once familiar sound of adult human interaction! “What has my life become?” I think to myself as the recording ends and I feel oddly bereft. I guess I should call her back. But will that conversation be one filled only with the self-pity & tales of lockdown woe that come with being a Victorian right now? I’m kind of over it, both the living and the telling of it.

But Spring has chased winter away, right on cue, and there are summer vegies to grow on my sun-filled veranda. I’d better check for gardening implements in that Aldi catalogue. Oh, and ring my friend back.

A luta continua, a vitória é certa!

(the struggle continues, victory is certain – Timor-Leste’s resistance motto)

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"A Woman of Independence"

ISBN: 9781742624020
Format: eBook
Pub Date: 10/11/2007
Category: Biography & True Stories / Biography: general
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Price: $16.99

"Alias Ruby Blade"


Feature Documentary Film (2012)

Using astonishing footage of the years-long resistance, director Alex Meillier presents a highly personal account of the courage needed to create a new democracy in modern times.

You can buy "Alias Ruby Blade" on Google Play Movies, YouTube as download or rent it on Google Play Movies, YouTube online.

About Me
I was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1966. As a student of the Italian and Indonesian languages at Melbourne University in the 1980's I became aware of the plight of the people of a small half-island called East Timor. A colony of Portugal for 500 years, East Timor or "Timor-Leste" was invaded by its huge neighbour, Indonesia, in 1975. It's a long story, but like many Australians and other citizens of the world, it made me angry and sad to learn that my own government aided and abetted that invasion in order to gain the upper hand in negotiating access to oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea, just north of Australia. At the cost of a quarter of a million Timorese lives. I decided to do something about it. And I still am today. 

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