Understanding Near Neighbors Fellowships: study tour to Indonesia and Timor-Leste

July 2008

This program gives Australian journalists the opportunity to visit Indonesia and East Timor, gain insights and report on developments in the region.

In Indonesia the fellows visited Muhammadiyah Hospital and also met with editors and journalists including Goenawan Mohamad founder of Tempo magazine and Endy Bayuni chief editor of The Jakarta Post, visiting Detachment 88 an anti-terrorist organisation, meeting members of Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL) and Yayasan Pantau in Jakarta.

The group then travelled to West Timor where they spent one night in Kupang before travelling overland to Timor-Leste and stayed in Dili for four nights. People and organisations visited included a typical (poor) village outside Ende in Flores, meeting Paulinus Domi the bupati (regional government head) in Ende, visiting the Noelbaki refugee camp near Kupang in West Timor, meeting with the leaders of Timor-Leste opposition party Fretlin, meeting with human rights advocates at Comarca Prison, a visit to Alola Foundation set up by Kirsty Sword Gusmao, a visit to Radio Television Timor-Leste (RTTL), a visit to daily newspaper Timor Post, meeting with residents of Motael IDP Camp, a visit to the free arts school Arte Moris and a visit daily newspaper Suara Timor Lorosa’e.

APJC fellows:

Mr Gary Cox, associate producer, SBS World News, Sydney
Mr Benjamin Doherty, senior journalist, The Age, Melbourne
Ms Whitney Fitzsimmons, presenter, ABC Television, Sydney
Ms Dawn Gibson, news journalist, The West Australian, Perth
Ms Jessica Mahar, journalist, Macarthur Advertiser, Sydney
Ms Amy McQuire, journalist, National Indigenous Times, Canberra
Mr Carlo Oreglia, presenter, SBS Radio, Melbourne
Ms Christine Webster, presenter/ journalist, Radio Australia, Melbourne

In-field study tour leaders:

In Java: Ms Amanda Melati Setya Adri Wibowo, freelance project co-coordinator, Pantau, Jakarta
In Flores: Mr Wilhelmus Wempy Hadir
In Kupang: Mr Winston Neil Rondo, freelance journalist and project officer, Pantau, Kupang
In Timor-Leste: Mr Naldo Rei, author and freelance journalist,
Dili: Dr Phyllis Ferguson