The compelling story of Shirley Shackleton; a great Australian woman launched into an unexpected life as a human rights activist following the killing of her journalist husband in East Timor in 1975.
'A compelling personal insight into a defining time in our history. Shirley Shackleton's courage is inspiring' Robert Connolly, Director, Balibo 'Shirley Shackleton is one of a remarkable group of people who never gave up in the struggle for East Timor's freedom. She is quite simply a hero' John Pilger Australian Shirley Shackleton was launched into an unexpected life as a human rights activist when her journalist husband Greg Shackleton was killed in East Timor in 1975. Her story is filled with a profound sense of purpose, enduring love for her late husband, and a fierce determination to seek truth and justice not only regarding the events leading up to the murders of the journalists who came to be known as Balibo Five, but for the cause of democracy and freedom in East Timor. After more than thirty years, in 2007, Shirley's efforts led to an inquest that revealed the Australian government's cover-up and found that the Balibo Five were murdered to stop them exposing Indonesia's invasion of East Timor. Today, she fights to have her husband's remains repatriated to Australia, and continues to raise awareness of East Timor. This is a great woman's story, a proud mother's story, and the story of a woman who became an accidental activist and proved herself courageous and determined.
Shirley Shackleton grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, and has worked variously as a dressmaker, nurse and publicity director. She married journalist Greg Shackleton in 1966, and together they had a son, Evan. When Greg was murdered in 1975, Shirley was suddenly thrust into the role of an activist, to uncover the truth of behind the death of the Balibo Five and to fight for the independence of East Timor. Today she lives in Melbourne and continues to advocate for the East Timorese and for the repatriation of Greg's remains.
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