Home' Navy News : February 14th 2013 Contents defencebank.com.au
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February 14, 2013
ABCIS Richard Mousaco
couldn't help but smile when
he embraced family mem-
bers and surveyed his father's
childhood family home in Dili, Timor-
One of the last Australians to leave
Timor-Leste, ABCIS Mousaco said it
was surreal to be deployed on the mul-
tinational mission to a country where
he has an active family history and
where the majority of his family still
"I never thought I would be
deployed to a place where I have so
much family history and where my
grandmother's house was literally just
around the corner from where I was
based," ABCIS Mousaco said.
"Australia is my home, I am proud
to serve in the Navy, but you can't for-
get your heritage and I think you can't
see where you are going if you don't
know where you came from.
"So when the opportunity to deploy
to Timor arose, I jumped at it because
there are not too many people who get
the chance to serve on operations in
their family's own country."
In a one-hour break from opera-
tions, ABCIS Mousaco cut a beam-
ing smile as he embraced his great
aunt, two uncles and a number of other
direct relatives who live in the fam-
ily home bordering the hillside of the
dusty and humid Timor-Leste capital.
He could not help but laugh as
an endless stream of young cous-
ins jostled for the best position for a
photo with the uncle dressed in the
Australian camouflage uniform that
is held in high regard in the fledgling
"It was surreal checking out where
my father grew up. I had only been
there once when I was about seven in
1992 and from what I can remember
it's changed a lot," he said.
"My mum and dad's family were
Timorese business owners; they were
blacklisted and ended up in Portugal
following the Indonesian take over in
"Mum's family were heav-
ily involved in sandalwood and Dad's
family were coffee growers. They had
been assisting the resistance so were
Seeing his family in their home
country and looking to the future was
important to him.
"It's good to see that like the rest
of Timor my family is continuing to
rebuild this house and are positive
about what the future will bring,"
ABCIS Mousaco said.
An able seaman had a special family reunion
while on Operation Astute, LEUT Peter
Smiles and hugs all round
The sailor said he thoroughly
enjoyed the experience of his first
operational tour where he served as the
Australian commander's driver before
returning to Australia in late January.
"It has been fantastic and something I
will truly never forget," he said. "It's a
great feeling to deploy and get a medal
from Timor Leste for doing a job that
is helping out another country. In my
case, this is a lot more personal and
gives me great satisfaction."
ALL TOGETHER: (L-R) Vino Mousaco, Marley Mousaco, ABCIS Richard Mousaco and Jose Mousaco at the
family's home in Dili, Timor-Leste.
Photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack
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