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INTERNATIONAL

Government expresses condolences on the death of Harold Mitchell

Government expresses condolences on the death of Harold Mitchell

Image The Australian

DILI, 12 february 2024 (TATOLI) – It was with great sadness that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste received the news of the death of Australian businessman and philanthropist, Harold Mitchell, on february 10, at the age of 81.

Harold Charles Mitchell was born in Trafalgar, Victoria, Australia on may 13, 1942.

He served as the Executive Chairman of Mitchell Communication Group Ltd and Aegis Media Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and also worked for Television Sydney (TVS). In 2000, he founded the Harold Mitchell Foundation, aimed at donating resources to various causes, with a focus on promoting community health, education, and the arts.

Mitchell has played leading roles in various organizations, including the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the New York Philharmonic, the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum Board of Victoria, Opera Australia, CARE Australia, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tennis Australia, the Deakin Foundation, the Melbourne International Festival of Arts and the Australia-Indonesia Centre.

In 2004, he received public recognition for his community commitment, being appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, and in 2010, he received Australia’s highest civilian honor, becoming a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia.

His enormous contribution to Timor-Leste’s development was recognized when he was awarded Timor-Leste’s highest civilian honor, the Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste, in may 2023. Harold Mitchell financially supported the Dare Memorial Museum, the Alola Mother Tongue Project, the Santa Bakita Orphanage, and the Balibo House Trust.

The Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, expressed his deep sorrow, saying that: “Harold Mitchell was a great friend of Timor-Leste and a great man” and “on behalf of the Timorese people, I expressed my sincere condolences to his family and friends”, recalling that the friendship between the two “began in 2001, when Harold, as President of the Melbourne Festival, invited me to Melbourne as part of a Cultural Exchange between Australia and Timor-Leste.”

Gusmão said: “Australia and Timor-Leste have lost a brilliant and generous man, but his legacy will continue to positively influence the lives of many.”

Government Spokesperson, Minister Agio Pereira, stated that: “Harold Mitchell will never be forgotten in Timor-Leste and will forever be remembered with great affection, admiration, and respect. At this time of sadness, we mourn his passing, but we celebrate his contribution.”

 

Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins 

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