Today marks the 41st anniversary of Timor's independence proclamation. On this day in 1975 what was known as Portuguese Timor was declared to be the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
After 500 years of colonisation the hopes of the Timorese ran high. Sovereignty, liberty, dignity, self determination - at last.
Nine days later, with an Australian 'green light' Indonesia invaded and a brutal 24 year occupation began.
Each respective Australian Government over those 24 years knew exactly what was going on, the atrocities taking place on our doorstep, a single hour's flight north of Darwin.
Fear and greed and expediency rendered nearly all of our so called leaders silent.
There was oil in the Timor-Sea.
It belonged to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste:
The new nation proclaimed on this day 41 years ago by the diminutive figure of First President Francisco Xavier Amaral - and Australia wanted it.
Our leaders thought it would be easier to get it dealing with Indonesia regardless of the cost to the Timorese people.
So on this day - of all days - after our shameful role in this history of neglect and deals, lets call on our Government to do the right thing.
Do the border, do it fair, do it now.