Subject: Age: Bracks will open Victoria's tribute to Balibo five

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

The Age

September 17, 2003

Bracks will open Victoria's tribute to Balibo five

By Darren Gray

Premier Steve Bracks will visit the East Timorese village of Balibo later this year to open a memorial to five Australian television journalists killed there in 1975.

The house in which the five stayed in the days before the attack is being turned into a memorial to the journalists and a community centre.

The Victorian Government set up a trust to buy the house and pay $50,000 towards reconstruction. Channel Seven and Channel Nine each contributed $25,000 while construction company Multiplex is overseeing the work. About 40 companies have donated materials, goods and support services.

Mr Bracks told Parliament yesterday that reconstruction of the house, which was virtually a shell when bought recently, was almost finished.

"I believe this is an important initiative to build on the strong relationship we have between the East Timorese people and Victoria," he said.

The centre will run computer and sewing courses, provide child care and vocational, educational and literacy training. It will also house a library and be available for meetings.

The five Australians killed in Balibo were Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters of Channel Nine, and Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham and Tony Stewart of Channel Seven. They were killed as they filmed Indonesian troops attacking the remote village.

Mr Bracks said members of the journalists' families would travel to Balibo for the dedication and opening.


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