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Jose da Costa


Jose da Costa was born in Timor-Leste where he was a youth clandestine activist. Arriving by boat as a refugee, he campaigned extensively, especially throughout regional Victoria, for East Timorese independence. He has worked professionally as an actor and filmmaker in Timor-Leste and Australia and published children’s books in the Tetum language. Da Costa was co-founder and former director of Dili Film Works which made Timor Leste’s first feature film, A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’ War). He has acted in the films A Guerra da Beatriz, Balibo Five, and Sumatra, and the two-part miniseries, Answered by Fire. His stage acting credits include Greater Sunrise at the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney and Hello My name Is… at OzAsia Festival in Adelaide. He co-produced the animation based on his life, Jose’s Story with Wendy Chandler. He has been a storyteller at the Darwin Festival’s SPUN and at the Northern Territory Writers’ Festival.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.