About Timor Leste


A brief history

Timor Leste lies about 500km to the north of Australia – just over an hour by plane from Darwin. The country was occupied by Portugal for centuries until 1975, when Indonesia invaded Timor Leste. The country was ruled by Indonesia for 24 years.

After brutal and terrifying years particularly between 1997 and 1999, the Timorese people won their independence in 1999. A terrifying period followed the 1999 Referendum as many more lives were lost and infrastructure destroyed.

Australia led an international peacekeeping operation in September that year until UN peacekeepers were on the ground later.

The country became the newest nation officially in 2002, and is now the second newest country in the world.

TL_NationalFlagJohn Fenech

Timor Leste Flag: image sourced from UNDP website, 2015 http://www.tl.undp.org/content/timor_leste/en/home/countryinfo/


According to UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), Timor Leste’s Parliament is made up of 38% female Parliamentarians (UNDP Timor Leste: no date). The fertility rate is one of the world’s mid-high rates at 5.7 births per woman. This and more at the UNDP Timor Leste website.

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