Shirley Shackleton Obituary, Death – We are saddened to tell you of the passing of Shirley Shackleton, who served as a Life Board Member for the Balibó House Trust. Shirley Shackleton passed away this morning after a lengthy battle with sickness. Shirley maintained her composure right up until the very end.
On October 16, 1975, notable reporter Greg Shackleton, who worked for HSV7 in Melbourne and was one of several journalists from Channels 7 and 9, was among those who were decapitated. Roger East, the sixth journalist, was on the hunt for information on the Balibo Five following their deaths on December 7, 1975 in Dili.
He wanted to know what happened to them after their deaths. In order to maintain the integrity of the community’s history, the Balibó House Trust collaborates with the residents of the area. During the protracted struggle for independence that the people of Timor-Leste were engaged in, everyone who knew Shirley would remember her as an important voice in support of the Timorese people.
Tributes are coming in from her lifelong friends and the leaders of Timor Leste, both of whom are aware of how diligently she fought to raise awareness of the suffering endured by their nation and people throughout the 24 years that Indonesia occupied Timor. Shirley’s efforts resulted in the refurbishment of the Australian Flag House in Balibó in 2003.
These efforts also assisted the Bracks Victorian Government in the establishment of the Balibó House Trust. Along with the families of the Balibo Five who live in Melbourne, Shirley became a Director of the Balibó House Trust. Her remarkable and ongoing support over the past 20 years has had a significant impact on all of the subsequent projects and initiatives that we have undertaken.
When she traveled to Timor with other Board members, her relationships to the country were brought into sharper focus than they had ever been before. She is held in the utmost regard across the board, beginning at the level of the village leadership in Balibó and extending all the way up to the top leadership positions at the national level. During this challenging time, our thoughts and prayers are with Shirley’s family.
Vale Shirley, may you finally find rest in the knowledge that the entirety of your life was spent working to advance fundamental human rights.