Early in our involvement, we made a decision, under the
leadership of College Chairman Mr Howard Williams, to form a long-term
relationship with the people of East Timor. Initially, the College was
involved in the provision and transport of dairy calves, which could
thrive in a tropical climate, as well as the establishment of a dairy farm in
Fuiloro, East Timor.
Since 2003, Christian College Geelong - our staff, students and their families and friends - have been actively involved in supporting
this young nation.
The Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network -
designated links between the Geelong region and the township of
Viqueque, which was located south of Dili. In September 2004, the City
of Greater Geelong formalised a close relationship with the District of
Viqueque by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Timor Leste.
The relationship between Christian College families and the people of
Viqueque has proved to be extremely rewarding for both groups. After
discussions with the local officials and village chiefs, and with the
help of a number of work parties, the early establishment of 'The
Friendship House' in the area of Beloi, Viqueque proved to be a catalyst
for the establishment of our ongoing programs.
Having somewhere for our work parties to sleep when we visited East Timor, as well as a centre for locals in the community to meet and work,
provided a natural focal point for future planning. This house is called 'Uma Maun Alin' (which means"'the house of the little brother and little
sister"). Other groups are also welcome to visit the Friendship House to talk to local staff and see the programs operating there. For further information, or to book and stay at the facilities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2003, the College working committee, our staff members, students,
families and friends have jointly raised approximately $20,000 AUD each
year. This money has all been directly used for projects in Viqueque and the
Projects In Viqueque
- A volunteer work party helped local schools. Volunteers from Uma
Maun Alin painted school walls and fixed the chairs and doors. Christian
College Geelong supplied the materials to assist this program. The
library building at SMA Liceu was renovated and a new roof was supplied.
- A Women’s Sewing Group began. Two groups of women use the
sewing room in Uma Maun Alin. One group was supported by the Alola
Foundation. The other group is supported by Christian College Geelong.
Both groups sew school uniforms and other official uniforms. Bags
and baby’s clothing are also made.
- Students from Viqueque visited Geelong for the first time and
attended Christian College Geelong Senior School classes. The students
were accommodated with College families for three months.
- Tank water was provided for the community in Beobe in Sucker Oan, and water taps were renovated in Luca Oan.
- Maria Alves was employed as the first Liaison Officer.
- The First group of Christian College students visited Viqueque in March.
- The First teacher-to-teacher seminar was held in September.
- A Soccer field was constructed at Uma Kiik in the community of Beobe.
- Creados independence fighters visited Geelong in April 2006. Then College Chairman, Howard Williams, found three surviving creados and
organised for their visit to Australia to coincide with ANZAC Day
- Assistance to the Viqueque Hospital was given. Materials such as nurse’s
pouches (including fob watches and scissors), beds/sheets, mosquito
nets, babies’ clothes and a set of baby scales have proved to be invaluable
- New schools were planned at Talibelanda and Kraras. Christian
College Geelong was approached to help support the building of these
schools. They received permission from the Department of Education to
proceed. The building of Kraras began in 2008. Students attended the official opening.
- A Christian College staff member was an observer at the 2007
East Timor Parliamentary elections. (Another committee member was an
observer for the 2012 elections)
- Mosquito nets were provided to the local orphanage. Christian College students also knitted blankets.
- A visit from Christian College Geelong to organise contractors
to build the new school at Kraras took place. The school was officially opened in
July 2010. Christian College Senior School students participated in the
- The Kindergarten commenced at Uma Maun Alin. In January 2010, a
teacher was employed to run the Kindergarten and he was assisted by four
volunteers (Juliana, Nurlinda, Venancia and Lucia).
- Approximately 30 children attend the kindergarten every day.
- Basic English classes commenced for local children in the afternoons. Classes were held at Uma Maun Alin.
- Computer classes were introduced. Certificates are awarded after completion of a three-month course.
- A Christian College delegate represented the Geelong Viqueque
friendship group at the international conference: ‘Haforza Relasaun
Amizade / Strengthening Friendship Workshop’ in Maubisse in August 2010.
- Uma Maun Alin Kindergarten thrives under the direction of three teachers: Nurlinda, Lucia and Venancia.
- A Visit from Christian College Geelong to organise contractors to build the new school at Raitahau occurs.
- A Tertiary scholarship program commenced for four suitable candidates, from two senior high schools in Viqueque.
- Four Timorese teaching staff from the 'Friendship House' trained and mentored in Australia for two months.
- Kindergarten teachers are now qualified in their own area of study (Psychology, English/teaching and Accounting).
- Scholarship program expanded to eight students. All students selected attend universities in Dili.
- Teacher training for Viqueque Kindergarten staff continued in Australia
Raitahau Primary School new building was officially opened in July 2012. Christian College students were officially involved.
A motorbike was purchased and delivered to Kraras Primary School to
enable teaching staff to drive to work (instead of walking an hour each
Friends and Sponsors of Viqueque Projects
Christian College Geelong greatly appreciates the support of all
sponsors and individuals who have volunteered to take part in work parties
in East Timor. We value all who have supported the College goals in
helping the people of Viqueque.
You may wish to make a secure online donation (Paypal Link) to the fund
which supports the following ongoing programs in East Timor:
You may also wish to contact Christian College to speak to a member of the East Timor Friendship Committee
Fundraiser calendar advertising
Employment of local staff in Viqueque
Tel +61 352411899 or email us