Maria and the Dare Memorial

2010 April Maria and the Dare Memorial
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Kay Boulden

Maria Alves was assistant to Kirsty Sword Gusmao during the visit by the AWE delegation. Kay writes about this amazing woman who found time to hold down a regular job, work with her husband to build a new school in Viqueque as well work as local liaison for the international filmmakers who were shooting ‘Balibo’ in the region where the massacre took place.

Maria’s greatest pride is in her contribution to establishing the Dare Memorial Museum, situated up in the hills behind Dili, which commemorates the sacrifices made by the East Timorese in helping Australian soldiers during the struggle against the Japanese during World War II. The Australians engaged in guerrilla warfare, aided by the young Timorese, most of whom were teenagers. After the Australian withdrawal, the Timorese people faced brutal reprisals. The messages on the wall at Dare tell the story.