FRETILIN and the People of Timor-Leste lose a Dear Friend with Helen Hill’s Passing

FRETILIN and the People of Timor-Leste lose a Dear Friend with Helen Hill’s Passing

Image Australian Embassy in Timor-Leste

DILI, 08 may 2024 (TATOLI) – Frente Revolucionária do Timor-Leste Independente (FRETILIN) is deeply saddened with the news on the passing of a dear friend of FRETILIN and the people of Timor-Leste, Dr. Helen Hill. Helen has courageously been battling with her illness. In a message of support, on 6 of May 2024, FRETILIN told Helen that her bravery and fighting spirit that had made her victorious in the past would make her winning the illness. As always, Helen Hill never surrender but was forced to make peace with the illness.

Right from the beginning, Helen Hill was one of the few Australians who courageously refused to believe that FRETILIN and the people of Timor-Leste would be defeated when almost the whole world believed otherwise.

“I remember Helen Hill from her visit in early 1975 as a university student and met her again over the years during the occupation and found her to be a genuine friend of Timor-Leste,” FRETILIN Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri remembers.

Helen Hill and a few friends of FRETILIN and the people of Timor-Leste established the first activist organizations in Australia and started the campaign in support of the Timorese rights to independence, in Australia and overseas.

“Helen Hill and a few other Australian friends were instrumental in assisting the setting-up of FRETILIN representation and the work of FRETILIN representatives at the United Nations in the early days of our struggle,” Mari Alkatiri explains.

“In 1976, Helen Hill’s book entitled “The Timor Story” was published by Timor Information Service in Melbourne, Australia. This served as both an eye opener and conscious opener in Australia and other parts of the World for what FRETILIN was doing for the independence of Timor-Leste,” Alkatiri continues.

Throughout these years, Helen Hill shared the convictions, values, determination and dedication of FRETILIN for bringing real independence to the people of Timor-Leste.

“I believe it was these that brought Dr. Helen Hill to move to Timor-Leste to continue fighting for human development of the Timorese through education, the fight she never let go until the time she made peace with the illness she suffered,” FRETILIN Secretary General states.

“The memories and values of Dr. Helene Hill will always be part of Timorese and FRETILIN’s history and will live on in the country she holds dear to her heart, Timor-Leste,” Mari Alkatiri says.

“My personal heartfelt sympathy and solidarity as well as a sincere condolence of FRETILIN to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Helen Hill in Australia and throughout the World,” FRETILIN Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri concludes.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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