East Timorese Australians

East Timorese Australians
Total population
9,225 (by birth, 2011)[1]
7,085 (by ancestry, 2011)[2]
Portuguese · Tetum · Chinese · Australian English
Christianity (mainly Roman Catholicism)

East Timorese Australians are Australian citizens of East Timorese descent or an East Timor-born person who resides in the Commonwealth of Australia.

East Timorese people in Australia are one of the largest groups of the East Timorese diaspora.

Migration history

Under Portuguese rule

East Timorese immigration to Australia began with the arrival of the first migrants from the then Portuguese Timor in 1943 during World War II. This migration wave consisted of approximately 600 people who were evacuated from the island, of whom only 35 settled permanently after the war ended.

Indonesian occupation

During the Indonesian invasion of 1975, a significant number of East Timorese fled to Darwin, situated 656 km (408 mi) from Dili. The Australian government accepted 2,500 East Timorese refugees in 1975, primarily those of Portuguese descent. [3] FRETILIN was reported to have been active in Darwin during this time using HF radio communication to contact comrades in Dili. Darwin proved an ideal base for FRETILIN to operate its informal government in exile given the city's significant East Timorese exile community who supported independence.[4]

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. "The Timor-Leste-born Community". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  2. "The People of Australia – Statistics from the 2011 Census" (PDF). Australian Government.
  3. 3600, scheme=AGLSTERMS.AglsAgent; corporateName=National Archives of Australia; address=Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, ACT 2600; contact=+61 2 6212. "Virtual Reading Room Vrroom". vrroom.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  4. Manning, Brian (2003). "Charlie India Echo Tango-calling Timor Leste" (PDF). A Few Rough Reds: Stories of Rank and File Organising. Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. ISBN 978-0-909944-08-7.
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