Balibo papers at National Archives

The August newsletter from National Archives of Australia draws attention to NAA’s  holdings of Australian Government records concerning the Balibo Five.

The newsletter provides links to a ‘Fact Sheet’ on the issue (brief background and selected links to some online records) and advice on how to find other Balibo records in NAA’s vast RecordSearch database.

Woolcott & Yoga Sugama

Woolcott & Yoga Sugama

A link is also given to a 614-page file of newsclippings and internal Jakarta Embassy correspondence covering the October-December 1975 period. The correspondence provides an insight into the games being played by senior Indonesian officials as the Australian embassy sought information on the journalists’ fate. Click image at left for sample. Both Indonesian and Australian sides in the correspondence are notable for almost complete silence on direct Indonesian military involvement at Balibo.

An interesting selection from NAA’s broader Timor collection can be found on Clinton Fernandes’ Timor history website (see sample links here). Dr Fernandes was consulting historian for the Balibo film.

One Response to Balibo papers at National Archives

  1. Anon says:

    The “games” were being played by both Indonesia and Australia. According to the Coroner’s Inquiry:

    “When news of the deaths came out, not a single word in public or in private was uttered by the Australian Government or political leaders to suggest involvement or blame on the part of the Indonesians for the deaths of the journalists. Instead, Australian officials in public and in private persisted in what can only be called a bizarre charade of asking the Indonesian Military to use their good offices in seeking information from their Timorese militia allies about the deaths of the journalists…”

    See more details at:

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