East Timor - The Road to Recovery: A Photo Essay by Ted McDonnell

April 14, 2011 /Photography News/ For the past decade, since gaining independence from Indonesia, East Timor has struggled to gain its feet due to massive poverty, unemployment and the damage done to the small island nation by the murderous Indonesian backed TNI Militia.

However, the Timorese people, both young and old, are a proud and resilient nation of people. They are slowly rebuilding, gaining pride and confidence through hard work. 

Both Australians and Americans have contributed greatly to the rebuilding of East Timor over the past 10 years.

The future of the Timorese is in their hands and through tenacity they grow every day.

Yes, every day is a struggle - but as they continue their road to recovery the future brightens... even if ever so slowly...

This project is ongoing to raise money from the sale of photographs and a book for the children of East Timor's many orphanages.

Grandma minding the kids and selling vegetables at one of Dili's many markets

Children searching for anything of value in rubbish in a Dili suburb

A very young boy pushing a market cart

A partially blind man walks on the Dili Beach searching for cans

Pushing a heavy cart at one of Diili's busiest markets

Two children at the Dominican orhpanage in Dili

Selling fruit East Timor style

Waiting for a bus in Dili

Young boy selling fish for his family roadside near Dili

A house burnt out by the TNI Militia a decade ago has never been rebuilt
 About the photographer:

Ted McDonnell is a 30 year media veteran as a journalist and photojournalist in Australia. He gave up photojournalism for more than a decade and has only just returned to doing special photojournalism assignments. Ted was a semi-finalist in the coveted Moran Photographic Prize this year. His work can be seen at

Photos & text: Ted McDonnell. All Rights Reserved


  1. Anonymous says

    Beautiful work Ted

    Anonymous says

    Graphic Images. Time we realised the plight of East Timor still continues.

    Anonymous says

    Great work Ted.!
    Deb Selleck

    Soham Gupta says

    Wonderful work, Ted! Lovely!

    Marina says

    Loved "Waiting for a bus in Dili"

5 comments so far. What do you think?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.