Contributed by: Ash Nugent Monday, September 17 2007 @ 11:00 am ACST
Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a country in Southeast Asia made up of the eastern part of the island Timor, the Oecussi-Ambeno region in Northwest Timor and the smaller islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco. It has a population of a little over one million. It made headlines in 1999 when incited anti-independence violence followed a successful referendum by Timor-Leste to be recognised as their own state.
An Australian-led peacekeeping force was deployed to the region to support the new state, and they remain in the country (along with peacekeepers and police from 20 other countries) following more recent violence. Under the banner of “Operation Astute[*1] ”, the Australian Defence Force are aiming to bring “stability, security and confidence to the Timorese to allow them to resolve their differences democratically and peacefully.” Sport has been identified as one avenue to achieve these goals, and consequently Australian football has been in the limelight.
Photos and videos of football matches and Auskick clinics in Timor-Leste can be found on the ADF website[*2] . More photos and a short review of the Auskick clinics can be seen on pages 16 and 18 of the September 2007 edition of Timor-Leste’s Guide Post Magazine. The Auskick website also ran articles titled NAB AFL Auskick in East Timor[*3] and Auskick Timor Leste Coaches Report[*4] .