The newsletter of the Timor Information Service, Melbourne, is going online for long term international access.
Click here to access issues digitised to date. More to come.
TIS (as it was known) was one of the first formal newsletters in English serving the information needs of the Australian and international East Timor solidarity movement. Issue #1 was published 11 November 1975. The last issue (#40) was issued in March 1983.
TIS arose from informal gatherings of Melbourne activists connected to church and aid organisations. Created initially for educational use in Melbourne, TIS aimed to present a regular, credible account of the rapidly evolving situation inside Timor. While often drawing on the valuable and voluminous output of Sydney’s Campaign for Independent East Timor / Denis Freney, the TIS style was generally less polemical.
The first issues were put together by me (John Waddingham), Fr Maurie Heading from the Jesuits’ Asian Bureau Australia and Mary Considine from the joint Catholic-Protestant churches’ development education organisation Action for World Development (AWD). The name ‘Timor Information Service’ was suggested by Ian Bell who, with other Community Aid Abroad and International Development Action activists like Christine Carolan, also contributed to a $20 per week ‘stipend’ to allow me to work full time on developing the TIS.
TIS initially operated from spare office space at the Victorian Council of Churches in central Melbourne and from 1976 in a small attic rented from AWD when it re-located to inner-city Fitzroy. I continued to be the core (unpaid) TIS worker, aided by my partner Cecily Gilbert and a myriad of other volunteers who came and went over the years. TIS formally ceased to exist at the end of 1984.
Digitisation: Your comments sought
Scanning all issues of the TIS newsletter is a pilot project of a larger digitisation program planned by CHART. A random set of ten issues is available now. The remainder will be added in the next few weeks.
The scanning method chosen for this pilot is to scan the pages as images only. This means the text is not accessible for searching or cutting/pasting. Your comments on these scans will be appreciated – especially on readability and the scan-as-image format.