Art celebrates East Timor

BALLARAT’S close links with the people of East Timor have been celebrated in a new sculpture installed at the Ballarat Library in Doveton Street North. 

Timed to celebrate East Timor’s 10th anniversary of independence, the sculpture was designed by artist Marqy da Costa and produced with the assistance of Victorian Senator John Madigan. 

Representatives from the City of Ballarat, the Australian East Timor Association and author Clinton Fernandes were present for the unveiling late last week. 

City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates said links with the East Timorese people and the district of Ainaro had long been established in Ballarat. 

“What a great thing and a beautiful symbol representing our friends in East Timor this artwork will be,” Cr Coates said. 

“Our connection was galvanised during the crisis of 1999 and we have since gained so much from the relationship, with many of us travelling back and forth.

“This sculpture will stand as a lasting monument.” 

In recent days, Mr da Costa and Senator Madigan put final touches on the artwork, which was formed to represent “the gentle resilience of the young East Timorese” who came to live in Ballarat. 

Mr Fernandes launched his new book The Independence of East Timor Multi-Dimensional Perspectives: Occupation, Resistance, and International Political Activism after the unveiling.