Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Timor-Leste to Australia, New Zealand and Republic of Fiji
Abel Guterres was one of the fortunate people to have been evacuated to Australia in 1975 just prior to the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste. Having lived in Melbourne for the intervening years, he returned to Timor-Leste in 1999 to take part in the United Nations supervised Referendum on Independence.
An active community member in Melbourne, Abel worked in the transport industry, volunteered with the Timorese community and was presenter and broadcaster with Community Radio 3CR, the Timorese language news and current affairs station. Throughout this time he also worked as an activist on the diplomatic front with the now President of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, and played a leading role as a lobbyist in Australia.
In 1990, Abel was officially appointed as the representative of Conselho Nacional de Resistencia Maubere for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries on the struggle and liberation of Timor-Leste.
After attending the Diplomacy Training Program at the University of New South Wales in 2000,he was sent by then Foreign Minister, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, to Oxford University in England to attend the Foreign Service Program post graduate studies in International Law, International Politics, Diplomatic Practices and International Trade and Finance.
Abel’s many diplomatic roles include heading the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Desk of the nascent Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Deputy Director for Timor-Leste’s most successful Independence Day Celebrations which took place on May 20, 2002; Timor-Leste’s first Consul General to Australia; acting as Chief of Staff for then Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta in 2007; Director for Bilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His work over has made a significant contribution to building a lasting friendship between Timor-Leste and Australia.
In 2010 Abel Guterres was appointed the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Timor-Leste to Australia, New Zealand and Republic of Fiji.