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WORLD NEWS 11
Army September 17, 2009
By Maj Kate Ames
TWO brothers in the Army have been
awarded the Timor-Leste Medal of Merit.
TLBG 6 2IC Maj Dan Gosling and his
brother, Capt Luke Gosling, a reservist with
Norforce, were recognised for their services
to East Timor over a number of deployments,
but also for their work at a more personal
Maj Gosling's initial deployment as a pla-
toon commander with 3RAR in 1999 ignited
his passion for East Timor.
He and his platoon were looked after by
a woman called Meningas, whose burnt-out
house in Dili had become their temporary
"Meningas returned to her house in Becora
after fleeing from the militia violence that
claimed many of her family and friends," Maj
Gosling said. "Although she was now caring
for seven or eight children -- only some of
whom were her own -- she asked us to stay
and wanted to look after us, even after the
pain she had gone through."
This was the beginning of Maj Gosling's
10-year relationship with the country. He
has since learnt the Timorese language,
Tetum, as well as Portuguese, and returned
to East Timor with the Defence Co-operation
Program as an infantry command adviser sup-
porting indigenous capacity building with the
country's defence force (F-FDTL).
In an unofficial capacity, the brothers have
organised major events, such as the Timor
Challenge and Timor Gathering, raising
money to support nation-building initiatives
and to promote awareness of East Timor.
"As close neighbours sharing a common
border, and a military history that traces back
to World War II, when many Timorese sup-
ported our independent commando companies
during combat operations in Timor, I believe
Australia and East Timor should continue to
work closely together to support our future
security and prosperity in the region," Maj
The brothers also assisted on the film Debt
of Honour, which highlighted the role of the
East Timorese criados in helping Australian
soldiers during WWII. "I was the 2IC of C
Coy, serving in 3RAR during 2002, and we
spent a few weeks with the film crew as part
of the production," Maj Gosling said.
In presenting the medals, East Timor
President Dr Jose Ramos Horta paid tribute to
the Goslings. "The parents, the brothers, the
whole family have supported the development
of East Timor, and, for that, we thank them."
The Goslings' father, John, a Vietnam vet-
eran who served with 6RAR, recently com-
memorated Vietnam Veterans' Day in East
Timor with a climb up Mt Matabean to hold a
dawn service with ISF and F-FDTL soldiers.
He heads the charity Life, Love and
Health, which his sons set up to help maternal
health and water and sanitation projects.
Maj Gosling is on his fifth deployment to
East Timor with the 2RAR battle group, and
will then take up a year-long posting with the
Defence Co-operation Program.
Family and friends: Maj
Dan Gosling enjoys his
medal moment in East
Timor with wife Hayley
and one-year-old son
Max (above); and joins
his brother Luke (far
left) and Dr Jose Ramos
Horta at the presentation.
Photos by LAC Christopher Dickson
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