14 December 2008

Roger East - Australia's Forgotten Journalist: Murdered by Indonesian Armed Forces in 1975

Radio National Hindsight Sunday 2pm repeated Thursday 1pm Roger East - Australia's Forgotten Journalist

Roger East was 52, and a seasoned journalist, when he died in early December 1975 in Dili, East Timor, at the hands of Indonesian armed forces.

The events surrounding his death have, until recently, slipped from public awareness in Australia, eclipsed by the murders of five fellow journalists (who've become well known as the Balibo 5) in Timor two months before the shooting of Roger East.

Roger East was the last foreign journalist left in Timor when the Indonesians swarmed into the country in December 1975. He had planned to try and stay on through the occupation, and send independent eye-witness accounts of the events in Timor from a hiding place in the hills outside Dili.

The story of Roger East's life, and more particularly his untimely death, sheds fresh light on Australia's own role in the Indonesian invasion, and the Timorese people's subsequent struggle for independence, across more than two decades.


Glenise Bowie, sister of Roger East

Timor Leste's President Jose Ramos Horta

Peter Cronau, ABC Four Corners producer and writer

Ken White, Darwin-based journalist and author

Hamish McDonald, author and Asia-Pacific Editor for Fairfax Press

James Dunn, former East Timor consul and author

Jack Sheppard, journalist with the ABC and BBC

John Tulloh, journalist, former Head of ABC International Operations

Robert Connolly, Director of the upcoming film Balibo

Title: The Roger East Story (article)
Author: Sheryle Bagwell and Everard Himmelreich
Publisher: New Journalist, May 1979

Title: Timor: A People Betrayed
Author: James Dunn
Publisher: The Jacaranda Press

Title: Death in Balibo, Lies in Canberra
Author: Hamish McDonald and Desmond Ball
Publisher: Allen and Unwin

Title: Cover-up: The inside story of the Balibo Five
Author: Jill Jolliffe
Publisher: Scribe

Title: Australia and the Indonesian incorporation of Portuguese Timor, 1974 - 1976
Author: Wendy Way
Publisher: Foreign Affairs and Trade, Melbourne University Press

Michelle Rayner

Michelle Rayner

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