ITA LA HA LUHA (We not forget !): 2/2nd 1999-Present

Our father was a 2/2nd Commando in East Timor during World War II and it was only through the help given by the Timorese that [he] returned to Australia safely…

We plead with the Australian Government to act swiftly and without timidity to protect the lives of so many unarmed citizens who had the bravery to exercise their democratic right to vote.

Colleen Thornton–Ward,
letter to State and Federal politicians,
8 September 1999

Members of the 2/2nd, although now in their eighties, responded swiftly to events in East Timor around the new millennium. They strongly urged Australia to intervene following the post referenda violence in 1999 and immediately sent emergency funds to Don Bosco Agricultural College in Fuiloro.

Individual members and their families continued to directly support Timorese friends and families. The Association continued to sponsor shipments of second hand goods and seeds. By 2006 the Independent Trust Fund had raised over $60,000 and overseen the collection and distribution of goods valued at over $300,000.

In April 2000 six members of the 2/2nd returned to Timor to re-dedicate the refurbished Timor Memorial at Dare, in honour of East Timorese wartime assistance. The memorial was later rebuilt in 2009 by the Australian 1st Combat Engineer Regiment to include a café, museum and a school built on the site of the old wading pool.

The original members of the 2/2nd may now be few, but the desire to repay the Timorese for their wartime assistance spans generations. 2/2nd families continue their work for East Timor through the Association or through other charitable bodies.