Timor-Leste: 20th anniversary of INTERFET commemorations

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The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

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19 September 2019

MINISTER for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester will travel to Dili, Timor-Leste today to take part in events recognising the 20th anniversary of the deployment of the International Force East Timor (INTERFET).

Mr Chester said he was looking forward to celebrating Timor-Leste’s success as a democratic nation since the historic event 20 years ago, and attending commemorative services with INTERFET veterans.

“The visit will also be an opportunity to meet with my Timorese counterpart His Excellency Gil da Costa Monteiro ‘Oan Soru’, Secretary of State for the Affairs of Combatants of National Liberation, to discuss how our respective countries recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service, and support veterans and their families,” Mr Chester said.

Minister Chester will gift an exhibition to the people of Timor-Leste, featuring historic photographs and images from INTERFET and subsequent United Nations missions, currently on display in the Timorese Resistance Museum.

“The exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect on the many nations, including Australia, that contributed to United Nations missions supporting Timor-Leste’s success as a sovereign nation,” Mr Chester said.

Australian Defence Force members attending the commemorations will include 60 currently serving INTERFET veterans. The event will be supported by HMAS Choules and a RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft.

Vision of the commemorations for media use will be available at: https://bit.ly/2lUBPaW. Imagery of the commemorations for media use will be available at: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20192199.

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