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Jill Jolliffe (born 1945) is an Australian journalist and author who has reported on East Timor since 1975.


Education and careerEdit

Educated at Geelong High School and Monash University, she visited East Timor with a student delegation in April 1975 while doing postgraduate work at the Australian National University. She witnessed the first incursions of Indonesian regular troops into East Timor in September 1975, and reported on the deaths of the Balibo Five the following month.[1]:p i

Jolliffe lived in Portugal from 1978 to 1999, reporting on Portugal, Angola and other ex-Portuguese colonies, as well as East Timor. She later returned to Australia to reside in Darwin. She has been a correspondent for Nation Review, Reuters, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and the BBC.[2] She has covered wars in Angola and Western Sahara, and is banned from entering Indonesia because of her criticisms of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and its aftermath.[1]:p i

She was a Northern Territory finalist for the Senior Australian of the Year award in 2010.[3]

Work on East TimorEdit

Jolliffe's 2001 book Cover-Up: the inside story of the Balibo Five tells the story of the capture and killing of the Balibo Five, subsequent evasion of the issue by the governments of Indonesia and Australia, and its connection with Indonesia's decision to invade and occupy East Timor.[1] The book, researched by the author for over twenty years, "is as much an investigation of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor as it is a case study of the Balibo killings". The proposal to base a film on her book evinced some criticism of her views of "colleagues", as briefly reported in 2004 by one U.K. newspaper.[4] The film Balibo was based on the book and released in 2009.


  • East Timor : nationalism and colonialism. 1978.
  • Timor, Terra Sagrenta (Timor: The Killing Fields) (1989)
  • Aviz: A Lisbon Story (1998)
  • Depois Das Lagrimas (After the Tears) (2000, ed.)
  • Cover-Up: The Inside Story of the Balibo Five Scribe, Melbourne (2001)
  • Balibo (2009) – updated revision of Cover-Up in a film tie-in edition[5]
  • Finding Santana (2010)[6]
  • Run for your Life, Affirm Press, South Melbourne (2014)

Book reviewsEdit

Year Review article Work(s) reviewed
2011 "Uncensored portraits". Australian Book Review (332): 68–70. June 2011. Anderson, Fay & Trembath, Richard (2011). Witnesses to war : the history of Australian conflict reporting. Melbourne University Press.

TV documentariesEdit

  • The Pandora Trail (1992) – about European prostitution rackets
  • Blockade (1997) – story of East Timor's guerrilla struggle
  • Foreign Correspondent special on Balibo Five (1998), with Jonathan Holmes


  1. ^ a b c Jolliffe, Jill. Cover-up: the inside story of the Balibo Five. Melbourne: Scribe Publications 2001.
  2. ^ "Jill Jolliffe (biographical monogaph)". Scribe Publications. Archived from the original on 19 May 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Northern Territory Australian of the year award finalists announced" (PDF). National Australia Day Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  4. ^ "New row over journalists' deaths 30 years ago". The Scotsman online, 7 March 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  5. ^ Jolliffe, Jill Balibo Scribe, Melbourne (2009) at Penguin Books Australia
  6. ^ Jolliffe, Jill Finding Santana Wakefield Press (2009) ISBN 9781862549258