Chicken-and-corn soup in coconut bowls and Timorese coffee with Papua cup cakes mark launch of important book

Bonded through Tragedy, United in Hope,
Hilton Deakin with Jim and Therese D’Orsa.
May 2017 | RRP $29.95 | Garratt Publishing, Victoria (Australia).

“The first detailed account of the interaction of the Vatican, the Indonesian government, the Indonesian Catholic Church, the Australian government, Australians and others dedicated to justice and human rights, and the Australian Catholic Church”
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Bishop of Parramatta

Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert St, East Melbourne, Thursday 1 June 2017 : 6pm.
Special Guest: Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv.

“Bishop Hilton gave us a voice in Australia, at a time when our struggle was largely forgotten or ignored, and around the world in various forums within the Catholic Church and the wider community” Xanana Gusmão, Resistance leader, first President of Timor Loro Sa’e

“A ripping yarn of how one solitary Australian bishop stood in solidarity through oppression and liberation, with downtrodden people who rose up and established the newest nation in our region. This larger-than-life voice witnessed much human misery and triumph and found a new life in the politics and advocacy of human rights, mixing with people he would never have met in the Church.” Fr Frank Brennan SJ. Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University

There was a festive air in the Cardinal Knox Centre at the launch of this important book by Hilton Deakin, the Australian Catholic bishop and formidable social justice campaigner who was closely involved in East Timor’s independence struggle, and has been the Patron of the Australia West Papua Association (Melbourne) since the turn of the millenium in 2000.

Four Catholic institutions—Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Yarra Institute of Religion and Social Policy, Australian Catholic University, Garratt Ppublishing—joined in solidarity to bring about a special evening sparkling with good food, good music, good information, and the congeniality and conviviality of the West Papuan and East Timorese communities in Melbourne.  Sitting in the background, but with only small mention, were the negotiations between the Australian and East Timorese governments over their oily borderlands, and both states’ appalling record of support for West Papua’s independence and self-deteremination.

Dapur Sampari (Papua kitchen) from the West Papua Womens’ Office in Docklands set the scene with a spectacular chicken-and-corn soup in special hand-hewn coconut bowls for guests entering the Australian Catholic University lecture room, and Timorese coffee with Papua cupcakes in the Cardinal Knox Centre after the speeches.

Hand-hewn coconut bowls by Lobar Wainggai and his friends, who in 2005-06 circumnavigated their Papuan homeland in a traditional double-outrigger canoe, then crossed Torres Strait to Australia.

Click for PDF of Launch Program Launch, Bonded through tragedy

For his service to the international community, particularly through the Catholic aid agency, Caritas Australia, and to the people of East Timor, Hilton Deakin PhD Anthropology (Monash University), Doctor of Divinity, has received the Order of Australia, the Order of the Republic of East Timor, and the Martinho da Costa Lopes Medal.

Relevant media interviews with Bishop Hilton Deakin

1. With Philip Adams, Late Night Live, ABC Radio National, 12 June 2017

2. With Jan Bartlett, 3CR Community Radio, Fitzroy (Part 1)

3. With Jan Bartlett, 3CR Community Radio, Fitzroy (Part 2)