The East Timorese in Sydney

  • McCormack T
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A boy befriended a sick crocodile and carried it to the sea. In gratitude, the crocodile took the boy on many journeys across the sea. As it grew old and approached death, the crocodile said: 'I will change into a land where you and your descendants will live from my fruits, as payment for your kindness.' According to legend, the land was the island of Timor and the descendants were the Timorese.East Timor is the world's newest democracy and Australia's nearest neighbour. The first president of the independent nation in May 2002 was the former resistance leader Xanana Gusmâo who married Australian activist Kirsty Sword in 2000. He became the country's fourth Prime Minister on 8 August 2007.Timor, meaning 'east' in Indonesian, is a narrow mountainous island at the south-eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. Half the island was colonised by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century and remained so when the western, formerly Dutch, half joined the newly independent Indonesian republic in 1945. East Timor is now called Timor-Leste in Portuguese and Timor Loro Sa'e in Tetum, the two official languages. The East Timorese are culturally and linguistically distinct from Bahasa-speaking Indonesians in the western half of the island.




McCormack, T. (1970). The East Timorese in Sydney. Sydney Journal, 2(1).

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