OBITUARY: Shirley Shackleton: A Timor-Leste hero's quest for truth

26 December 1931 – 15 January 2023

  • Peter Cronau Independent Journalist, Sydney
Keywords: Australia, Balibo, East Timor, Indonesia, journalist killings, journalist safety, media freedom, obituaries, Timor-Leste


Shirley Shackleton said that after her husband Greg was killed in Timor-Leste in October 1975, for seven weeks she became a campaigner for justice for the journalists murdered in Balibo, then after Indonesia invaded in December 1975 she became a campaigner for justice for all the East Timorese too.  Shackleton saw the Australian government treatment of the killings as a litmus test of Australian East Timor policy. She continued to pressure the government for a Federal Police investigation of those responsible for the deaths, culminating with Australian politicians and diplomats being put in the dock and scrutinised under oath in a Coronial Inquiry in 2007.


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Author Biography

Peter Cronau, Independent Journalist, Sydney

Peter Cronau is an Australian journalist who has reported on East Timor since the 1980s in numerous newspapers, radio, and in the 2000s for Australian ABC TV. In 2007 he and his team was awarded the Gold Walkley Award for journalism for a report on an outbreak of political violence in East Timor. He has since produced reports on the Timor Sea gas and oil dealings, and the Australian bugging operation in Timor and its aftermath. In 2000 he helped establish the Friends of Maliana-Leichhardt friendship group and helped his sons raise funds for Timorese communities at their local school. @PeterCronau


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How to Cite
Cronau, P. (2023). OBITUARY: Shirley Shackleton: A Timor-Leste hero’s quest for truth: 26 December 1931 – 15 January 2023. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 29(1 & 2), 251-258.