Solidarity archives: Canada’s example

The archives of Canada’s East Timor Alert Network (ETAN) have been deposited for public access at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

ETAN Canada campaigned from 1986 for a shift in Canadian foreign policy to support human rights and self-determination for East Timor. David Webster, now at the University of San Francisco, organised the papers and made the box list available here.

Perhaps ETAN Canada’s listing will encourage other similar organisations to get their papers into order as well.

Australian solidarity collections

Some surviving records of Australian solidarity group work are already available for study (with more to come!).

Friends of East Timor (FOET WA) members sorting files, Perth, 2005.

Friends of East Timor (FOET WA) members sorting files, Perth, 2005.

The papers of the legendary Denis Freney (National Library of Australia) contain records of the original Campaign for an Independent East Timor (CIET) in Sydney. Andrew McNaughtan’s papers at the Mitchell Library include material from Sydney’s newer Australia East Timor Association (AETA). Early fragments of (the original) AETA in Victoria can be found in the papers of Community Aid Abroad (at University of Melbourne Archives). Bill Tully’s papers at the Noel Butlin Archives in Canberra includes records of CIET and AETA activities there.

I have worked with AETA Victoria and Friends of East Timor (FOET WA) on their collections, but in each case there’s still much work to be done. I know of similar collections in Hobart, Adelaide and Darwin but have no recent knowledge of progress on preserving them.

Let me know if you are aware of other collections elsewhere.

Timorese access

A key question remains. How do we achieve Timorese access to materials like this in Timor-Leste itself? More from me on this issue in coming weeks.


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