A Long Haul, A Huge Outcome

In these difficult days I am pleased to pass on some good news. After a lot of hard work and dedication Simmy de Rosario and Afonso Soares have now successfully completed their Masters program at Deakin University. As a result of these studies they have both been successful in recent applications for Directors positions at the Ministry of Education in Timor-Leste. Afonso has been appointed as Director for Planning and Policy and Simmy as Director for Protocol, Partnership and Cooperation. Professor John Toumbourou and I (Deakin University School of Psychology ) are thrilled with their achievements and pass on our warm congratulations. Well done guys!

The current focus of their work will be to support the Ministry planning through the Covid 19 crisis. Timor like Australia is in shutdown mode for the next month or so at this stage. A planned government subsidy of $100 month for a family has recently been delayed? The challenges for the population are obviously extreme in this situation. The Ministry in collaboration with Timor Telecom are currently working to deliver an online school curriculum across the country using internet, YouTube, TV and radio mediums. Simmy is setting up a call centre unit to support this process at the Ministry in Dili. The fellows are going to be very busy but would be pleased to hear of any Friendship activity to support Timor at this time. Simmy’s role in particular is to coordinate and support international university and partnerships with the Ministry and would be keen to be updated regarding Friendship activity in Timor. You will all have specific contacts with your project work in Timor but if you need further support contact Simmy and Afonso who have the positions and a wide range of contacts to help make things happen. 

We plan to continue a range of Deakin Timor Partnership programs at a later time when the Ministry is in a position to confirm details of our next 5-year partnership plan. John and I would like to thank you (Geelong Friends of Timor Leste) all for your constant support of the Fellows in Geelong over recent years. Your friendship, support and hospitality played a crucial role in the Fellows Masters success.

Best regards,

Chris Loughnan

Simmy, Rae Kingsbury (AM) former Honorary Consul of Timor-Leste of Victoria and Afonso

Photo taken at the GVFS Annual Dinner, 2014

Article provided by Peter Cannon

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