First Person

Among the Quick and the Dead in East Timor, 1975

 Kerry Packer and effolalia When I first met Kerry Packer he was sprawled in his underwear across a bed in a motel in Darwin: a big seal in a singlet. It was at the end of August 1975. Civil war had erupted in East Timor on the 11th and Packer was determined to secure a deal my friend, Bill Bancroft, had been discussing with the captain of a fishing trawler regarding an unorthodox run to Dili. The price was $1000 a day, cash. Packer wanted a story. We wanted a lift. Bill was representing the Australian Society for Inter-Country Aid-Timor…

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