Timor-Leste President honours Australian humanitarian leader

Campaigns and Advocacy, Events, Media Releases, Other events article written on the 20 Nov 2010

At a special ceremony in Melbourne today, President Jose Ramos-Horta presented the Insignia Da Ordem De Timor-Leste to David Scott AO in recognition of his commitment and contribution to the people of Timor-Leste.

David Scott AO has been committed to the cause of Timor-Leste for more than 30 years. His book Last Flight out of Dili: Memoirs of an Accidental Activist in the Triumph of East Timor is a personal narrative of his long involvement with Timor-Leste.

David first went to Timor-Leste in 1975, just days before the Indonesian invasion and was forced to leave on the last flight out of Dili. His experience ultimately led to a critical and fully documented account of Australia’s role in the events of 1974-75 which draws on extensive personal correspondence with Jose Ramos-Horta when the country was under occupation.

David has spent much of his 85 years dedicated to community service both overseas and in Australia. Through his early involvement with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Scott took on the directorship of Food for Peace in 1962 which became Community Aid Abroad (CAA). He served as National Director of CAA from 1962-70 and as the organisation’s Chair for a further 10 years from 1970-80.

In 1965, under Scott’s leadership, CCA began a long and cooperative association with the then UK-based aid agency Oxfam which eventually led to CAA becoming known as Oxfam Australia in 2005.

Michael Henry, Chair of Oxfam Australia said, “David Scott was at the forefront of establishing the organisation that we know today as Oxfam Australia.

“His drive and leadership in the earliest days of what was originally Community Aid Abroad, laid the foundations for what has grown to become one of Australia’s leading humanitarian aid and advocacy organisations.

“It is testament to his tireless commitment to helping others over the years, that he is honoured today by the President of Timor-Leste and by the organisation which he helped found.”

For more media information, please contact:
John Lindsay, Media Manager, Oxfam Australia, +61 (0)425 701801, email: johnlindsay@oxfam.org.au

Photo: Richard Kendall/OxfamAUS
President Jose Ramos-Horta presents the Insignia Da Ordem De Timor-Leste to David Scott AO. Photo: Richard Kendall/OxfamAUS