Australian Story - The Peacemaker (Major Michael Stone)
Major Michael Stone's relationship with East Timor began in 1999, when he was posted to East Timor as a young platoon commander straight after his graduation. It was a trial by fire and an experience that changed his life. Following the 1999 elections and the East Timorese vote for independence, the country collapsed into violence. Michael Stone's experience in the war-torn country that year led to ongoing deployments, each one bringing with it more responsibility and influence. Today, he enjoys unrivalled maverick status as the Australian Army's "fix it" man in East Timor: a negotiator between warring factions; an interpreter; a liaison man for the community; a facilitator of peace. Michael Stone is also the face of the Australian Army on Timorese television, using his language skills and compassion to ease various crises as they erupt. But he's not the only member of the Stone family to contribute to the army and to East Timor: his father, Gary Stone, has also had a long relationship with the country as an army chaplain. At times, father and son have served together, providing vital support for each other in difficult situations. It's a family affair that shows no signs of ending.
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