This week in 1999, an unusual sight popped up along McMillans Road in Darwin. Following the breakout of violence after East Timor's vote for independence, about 2000 Timorese people were evacuated to Darwin with nowhere to stay. The space surrounding the little Greek Orthodox chapel near the Kalymnian and Cyprus Club and the Timorese and Portuguese Hall was quickly filled with rows of tents. Many Darwin residents leaped into action doing whatever they could to help - everything from pitching tents to transporting the refugees to and from the hospital. After about a month, many evacuees went to live in other parts of Australia, while some resettled in Darwin permanently.
Published: 10 September 2017