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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Robert McRae

HMAS TOBRUK and the Canadian supply ship PROTECTEUR

Date: 1999
Overall: 630 x 940 mm
Medium: Paper, watercolour paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Robert McRae
Object Name: Watercolour
Object No: 00030087
Place Manufactured:Darwin

User Terms

    The stern of HMAS TOBRUK is depicted in this painting alongside the Canadian supply ship HMCS PROTECTEUR, busy loading supplies for East Timor at Fort Hill wharf. As part of the multinational INTERFET operations in 2000 Canada provided 600 personnel to support the peace process in East Timor during its first stage of independence from Indonesia. PROTECTEUR was sent to relieve the Australian ship HMAS SUCCESS in its role as replenishment ship.
    SignificanceThis painting by naval artist Robert McRae represents Australian operations in East Timor during 2000 and the presence of Canadian personnel in the multinational task force.
    HistoryThe United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) was established in 1999 following political tension and bloodshed in East Timor during its attempt to gain independence from Indonesia. The International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) was the multinational operation sent to provide aid and ensure a peaceful transition for East Timorese self governance.

    Australia made the greatest contribution to this operation and acted as commander of the mission. A number of Royal Australian Navy ships were involved in the campaign including HMAS TOBRUK, a heavy landing ship capable of providing facilities for helicopters and other landing craft such as transport tanks and other vehicles. TOBRUK was commissioned on 23 April 1981.

    The INTERFET operation consisted mainly of Australian, New Zealand and United States forces but also received support from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The peace and humanitarian operations reached a conclusion on 28 February 2000.

    In the early stages of the INTERFET mission Canada contributed some 600 military personnel to East Timor in 1999 consisting of crew from HMCS PROTECTEUR, an infantry company, Sea King helicopters and transport planes. As a replenishment ship PROTECTEUR helped to transport around one million kilograms of cargo and some 2,000 passengers to East Timor. Commissioned on 30 August 1969 PROTECTEUR functions as an operational support ship for the Canadian Navy.

    In 1999- 2000 naval artist Robert (Bob) McRae was granted permission by the Royal Australian Navy to record the activities of ships in the port of Darwin. This was during Australia's involvement in the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) which came into effect on 25 October 1999.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: HMAS TOBRUK and Canadian supply ship PROTECTEUR

    Web title: HMAS TOBRUK and the Canadian supply ship PROTECTEUR

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