An intrepid band of motorcycle and 4WD adventurers have donated their skills and time to help refurbish the Balibó Five Memorial at the Balibó Community Learning Centre.
For two days, the group of six men and four women – travelling with respected local tour operators Timor Adventures – worked to prepare and install archival news materials, a digital media presentation, photographs, flags and commemorative plaques at the memorial. The centrepiece of the work was the installation of a glass replica of the Australian flag mural painted by the journalist Greg Shackleton in October 1975. The iconic image is now easily visible for the first time since it was painted over in 1976.
The work of the group was part of a week-long cultural tour with Timor Adventures. Tour leader Dave Carlos said community was at the heart of Timor Adventures’ work: “Everything we do is based on a principle of respect and support for the local community. By engaging in projects like this one, we are not only giving people the trip of a lifetime, we are helping to exchange culture knowledge and ideas, and providing sustainable incomes for local people”.
After leaving Balibó, the group headed south to Maliana, before overnight stays in Ainaro and Hato Builico, including a sunset climb to the summit of Mt Ramelau, the highest point in Timor-Leste. From Hato Builico, the group travelled through Maubisse, Aileu and the WWII memorial at Dare before arriving back in Dili for a welcome swim at Dive Timor-Loroase.
For more more information on the work of Timor Adventures – or to join a Timor Adventures cultural tour – click here.