From Mark Herewini
I am a former member of the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment who has organised a tour for veterans to return to Timor Leste in September this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their vote for independence and the deployment of the Australian led International Forces East Timor peacemaking mission tasked with providing peace and stability to the Timorese people.
The government and people of Timor Leste are very proud of their progress over the last twenty years and are eternally grateful for our contribution in their autonomy and are therefore very excited to have Australian veterans attend the official anniversary celebrations planned in Dili.
I am hoping you would be willing to distribute the expression of interest to your members in order for them to have the opportunity to attend this tour if they wish. Even though this is an InterFET Anniversary Tour any members with an interest are welcome to attend.
Participants will have the choice of coming for 5, 12 or 18 days in order to cater for everyone’s availability whilst enabling maximum participation in the official ceremonies and parades planned in Dili.
I have secured sponsorship that will cover the transport costs whilst in the country and this has significantly reduced the total cost per participant. I am continuing to source more sponsorship to further reduce the cost however participants should be prepared to pay for their flights to Darwin and at least the deposit. At present, the participant cost excluding flights to Darwin is approx $950 for 5 days in Dili, $1400 for the 12-day tour and $2000 for the 18-day tour. These prices include vehicles, drivers, insurance, accommodation, some meals as well as gifts and donations for Timorese veterans hosting the group during the tour.
This is not a commercial enterprise and I will receive no financial gain from organising this tour. I simply hope to provide a significant Australian veteran presence at this important event as well as providing veterans with an opportunity to witness firsthand how far the Timorese people have progressed thanks to their contribution as serving members of the Australian Defence Force.
I have included a copy of the expression of interest (EOI) form for participants to submit if they wish to attend as well as a request for financial support that may be distributed to any members that may be in a position to support the tour.
If your members wish to participate please advise them that EOIs must be submitted by the 10th June 2019 in order to allow sufficient time to secure flights and accommodation.
Thank you for your time and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
InterFET Anniversary Tour