In 1992 as part of the Year 11 curriculum, students from CRC Sydenham were studying the problems encountered by the people of East Timor during Indonesia's occupation of the country. When the film of the Santa Cruz massacre (November 12 1991) was shown to our students, many of them were so affected that they wanted to offer the East Timorese their support.
The first contact was made with the East Timorese community in Melbourne and students began writing letters to their members of Parliament and to receive visits from East Timorese students studying in Melbourne. At the time there was a group of these Timorese students preparing to make a visit to the UN headquarters in New York, to work with Jose Ramos Horta, in the hope of bringing the plight of their people to the attention of the world nations. In early 1993 these students attended an assembly at CRC Sydenham on their way to the airport and collected petitions and letters of support from our students to take with them. Our students were thus committed by friendship and solidarity to the future of the East Timorese people.