Art for Timor – Photographic Exhibition 2022

 2022 Theme ‘UMA- Home’

Exhibition dates: 2-28 August 2022 Rachinger Gallery

‘Art for Timor’ exhibition highlights the connections between the people of Geelong and our friends in Timor-Leste. This year we chose the theme of Home or Uma in Tetun. Participants submitted a photographic image that captured their ideas of home along with an accompanying paragraph relating their image to the theme.

Each year we seek feedback from an accomplished artist on the entries. Lariane’s review of the exhibition, is so beautiful. After discussion with Lariane she felt they were all so ‘personal’ it would be impossible to give ‘prizes’ as such so she has written general feedback to be shared and then selected eight to give more personalised feedback. We are very grateful for Lariane’s feedback and we thank her for her contribution.

Feedback from Artist Lariane Fonseca

Lariane Fonseca was born in Bombay, India in 1951 and now lives in Geelong, Australia. She is a photographer and digital storyteller. Exhibitions of her work held in Australia have been a resounding success. She completed her PhD using narrative inquiry and innovative means of recording data through digital storytelling and photography, to investigate ideas of dislocation and the impact that leaving one’s own culture has on the development of one’s self identity. Her photographic book, If Passion Were a Flower is inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf and the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. She worked in the Faculty of Life and Social Science at Swinburne University, Melbourne.

Feedback from Lariane Fonseca, on the Art for Timor, Photographic Exhibition

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful exhibition Art for Timor. Given the very personal subject of Uma or Home, it has been an honour to view each submission, to read the accompanying stories and enjoy the visual representation of the subjective and heart felt expressions contained in each image.

The story of Uma/Home is as personal as it gets. It is a dynamic concept and, as such any interpretation has dynamic results. You can clearly see this in the photos/artwork of Art for Timor. The brief for entries was a photo, accompanied by a few a words of what Uma/Home means, therefore it is important to view these submissions considering the visual image and story with equal value. This was my approach when considering the artwork in the task of providing feedback.

When I left my Watan (Uma/Home) in India as a 15-year-old, I left behind much more than the bricks and mortar of my family home. I left behind my friends, my customs, my culture and my sense of belonging and in many ways my identity. These losses have taken a lifetime to re-build and to re-fashion. It has taken a lifetime to overcome the trials and tribulations and arrive at a place where I know who I am and that I can call home. My story has a happy ending – this can be summed up in the words of the Finnish Sami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapaa who said “My home is in my heart; it migrates with me”

The artwork and stories you see before you contain the seeds of all these experiences and emotions. There are:

Stories about Family as seen in the work of: Jorja, Georgia B, Charlotte W, Daphne, Siobhan, Leah, Kiara, Coco, Aisha, Indianna,

Stories of Place –These range from Buildings and Rooms to Sporting Fields and Paddocks,  to Beaches and Rivers : Eve, Charlotte H, Matilda, Bronte, Ruby, Scarlett, Sasha, Emma, Lucia, Phoebe, Ruby F, Jessica, Summer, Paige, Simona, Aurora, Petra, Charlotte G, Madeleine, Scarlet-rose, Uma Maun Alin Volunteers, Eliza, Georgia G, Aylwen, Blessing

Stories about Pets: Dogs, Cats, Chickens, Horses:  Alla, Heather, Ava, Katelyn, Sienna, Elise, Ataya, Millie, Georgia L, Colin, Mylah Hunt,

Stories about Friends: Holly, Jasmine, Olivia, Claudia,

Stories about Diversity: Aaron Deb and the drawings of Max Bourke and Jim Bourke

Stories about Emotions: Ruby E, Hayley, Scout, Nicola, Rymaux, Aliera R, Zoe, Keira, Madison, Ceclia, Sianai.

Stories about Food: Colin

There were many submissions not named so I have not been able to mention them here. However, I can assure you that they were all of equal sentiment and value. I encourage you the viewer to take the time to consider each one and look beyond what you see in the frame.

Finding that place we can call home is something personal, yet as we can see from the stories before us it is also something that we often take part in together. It takes trust, a little risk and an experience that makes it worth calling it home. The stories before you tell us that Uma/Home is something familiar, somewhere safe and comforting, a place of shared memories, and something that we feel deeply personal and in unique ways.

In the end Uma/Home is as Herman Hesse said “is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all”.

Once again, thank you for sharing these intimate expressions of what you feel is your Uma/Home. It has been a privilege. I wish you well in your future and may you continue to find your home in the place where you feel happy.

Thanks, are also extended to Teachers, Parents, and Friends in Australia and Timor-Leste and the Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools who have supported and organised this occasion.

Beauty of the Sea – Jessica

The quality of light renders this photo by Jessica dreamlike. The freedom of the child as she plays in the grey, cold sea is lit up by the ‘sunspots’ – the image conveys all the sentiments expressed in Jessica’s story – relaxation, cold/numbness, and calm. The serenity of the beach and the sea as ‘home’.

Primary School Drawings – Max Bourke and Jim Bourke

I love these two drawings and the sentiment contained.

Max’s drawing expresses all the core values of Uma/Home – Safety, Fun, Joy, Love, Experience and Protection.

Jim’s drawing expresses the most important values of non-judgement and diversity, both these are essential underlying components of the core values of what Uma/Home means.

Feeding the Family – Jorja

The use of black and white and sepia tones in this photo by Jorja evokes a timeless quality. The togetherness of family focussed activity, which includes the ‘veggie patch’ and Charlotte the hen. Love the idea that Charlotte gets ‘adult time’.

Swimming out far – Charlotte H

This is a beautiful photo as Charlotte H has managed to catch the ethereal fading light quality at the end of the day. Our eyes are drawn not only to the seemingly endless horizon, but to the gently rolling waves that wash the shore. To me, this gentle and repetitive motion represents her joyous experiences with family and friends as they return here every year on annual holidays.

Home is in the gaps – Zoe

I am drawn to this photo as it leaves space for the imagination – it is boundless, and the essence of its spirit is in the title ‘home is in the gaps’. Look up – above the trees just as Zoe does and see what lies beyond …

My childhood home – Ceclia

The power and beauty of this photograph by Ceclia lies in what I like to call ‘fragments of memory’. The power of visual clues to stir and link memories to the present are a precious source of our emotional makeup.

Una Maun Alin Volunteers

The texture, age and visual richness of this building embodies a spirit of community. The building is set in lush surrounds and has only a few visual clues about its purpose – this is the joy of such a photograph as it leaves the viewer to write their own story and link it to the photographs of the volunteers shown below.

Comfort under the blanket – Katelyn

It was difficult to choose a photo from those that depicted how much their pets mean to them in relation to the idea of Uma/Home. In this photo, Katelyn has captured the reciprocal nature of love and belonging that a pet can bring to one’s life and feeling of home. I can see it in the look of abject satisfaction, adoration and comfort in her dog’s eyes.

About the Rachinger Gallery

Rachinger Gallery is a contemporary exhibition space located in Eastern Hub Community Centre in McKillop Street East Geelong. Available for exhibitions by artists, arts groups, schools and cultural organisations, the Gallery complements Eastern Hub’s Art Studio and art classes while showcasing the depth and diversity of the visual arts in Geelong.

The Gallery is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and 9am-2pm Saturday.


Event Archives

‘Art for Timor’ Art Show

November, 2020

The Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools (GVFS) presents the inaugural ‘Art for Timor’ Art show. ‘Art for Timor’ celebrates the unique connection the Geelong community holds with the district of Viqueque in Timor-Leste. 

Artworks and artefacts showcase this year’s theme ‘The Life and Land of Timor-Leste’.  Exhibiting in and viewing ‘Art for Timor’ is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about the culture of one of our nearest neighbours to whom we owe a great debt of honour. 

Geelong community members with connections to Timor-Leste, have unleashed their creativity to share their unique insights about life in Timor-Leste. It is great to be able to share these stories with the greater Geelong community.  GVFS hope that ‘Art for Timor’ will inspire community members to reflect upon their role as a global citizen.

This year, we have artworks in three of our five artists categories. ‘Art for Timor’ Artist Categories include: Junior Prinary (grades prep-3), Senior Primary (grades 4-6), Junior Secondary (yrs 7-9), Senior Secondary (yrs 9-12) and Timor Connected Community (ages 18+). The Judges Choice Award will be presented to the winning works in each artist category. Each artwork will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. A) Interpretation of the Theme
  2. B) Originality
  3. C) Technical Skill (in relation to artist’s style type, skill level and or art medium)

GVFS wish all our artist entrants the best of luck. A special thanks goes to our student artists. These students have gone to extraordinary lengths to create their works despite facing many learning disruptions over the course of this year. 


Art for Timor- Art Show Notice of Intention

December, 2019

The Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools committee are thrilled to announce an exciting new event starting in 2020. ‘Art for Timor’ will be a multi-media art show hosted by the Rachinger Gallery at the Eastern Hub between November 2nd and November 28th. This exciting new initiative will provide our dedicated Geelong Partner Schools community the opportunity to both connect with one another and share their Timor journeys with the Greater Geelong community. Our hope is that through community awareness and engagement, the Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools community will be able to further unite and grow.

In term 1 of 2020, partner school students and Geelong community members with a Timor-Leste connection will be invited to register their interest in participating . Further details outlining the event structure and registration process will also be advertised at this time. Thank you in advance for your support.

About the Rachinger Gallery

Rachinger Gallery is a contemporary exhibition space located in Eastern Hub Community Centre in McKillop Street East Geelong. Available for exhibitions by artists, arts groups, schools and cultural organisations, the Gallery complements Eastern Hub’s Art Studio and art classes while showcasing the depth and diversity of the visual arts in Geelong.

The Gallery is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and 9am-2pm Saturday.

2019 Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools Dinner

November 7th, 2019

You are invited to the 2019 Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools Annual Dinner. Join us to celebrate the wonderful work of our community members and partner schools. This year we warmly welcome guest speaker Professor Glenn Guest who will be speaking about his experiences in Timor-leste. The evening also provides attendees the opportunity to connect and learn about other individuals and organisations working together in support of our friends in Timor-Leste. All welcome!

When: Thursday 7 November. Arrive at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm sit down and a 9:00pm finish.

Where: Davidson Restaurant, 2 Fenwick St Geelong, 3220.

Cost: $50 per head entrees and 2 course sit down dinner, drinks at bar prices.

Bookings through Try Booking

Special dietary requirements on request through booking portal Or contact David Whelan directly:

 *  Guest speaker  Professor Glenn Guest  * 

-Professor of Surgery Deakin University Epworth Geelong Hospital

-Director of ATLASS (Australia Timor Leste Assistance Specialist Services) Program

-Supervisor of Training for the South West Victorian Regional Hub for Surgical Training

Professor Guest has had a long involvement with Timor-Leste dating back to 2001 when he lived and worked in Dili as Australia’s Surgeon to East Timor. At the dinner, he will share some of his experiences working in Timor-Leste and his ongoing commitment to Timor-Leste.

A Day in the Life of Timor-Leste

August 2019

Screening of ‘Alias Ruby Blade’

May 2019

A very successful film fundraiser was held at Clonard College on 20 May, Timor-Leste’s Restoration of Independence Day.

A great turnout of interested people viewed this inspiring and powerful documentary film.  It chronicles the remarkable story of Kirsty Sword, a human rights activist who becomes passionately involved in the plight of the East Timorese and their struggle for freedom.  It shares her story of working side by side with charismatic freedom fighter Xanana Gusmão and their growingrelationship.  After years of struggle, turmoil and hardship, Timor-Leste eventually gains independence in 2002 with Xanana its first President and Kirsty the First Lady of Timor-Leste.  It is the story of courageous individuals overcoming obstacles to change the course of history and establish the new nation of Timor-Leste.

Thanks to those who partnered to organise this event: Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools, Geelong Friends of Viqueque, Clonard College and Alola Australia.  Special thanks to Clonard College staff Carmel Brown, Clare Meredith, Michael McCallum and Tom Herriott, and also to projectionist Maggie and the other Clonard students who prepared and served supper.  Money from ticket sales, a raffle, donations and the sale of Alola craft resulted in $1,000 raised for the Alola Foundation, an organisation founded by Kirsty Sword Gusmão in 2001.  Proceeds will go to Alola’s work with women and children in the areas of maternal and child health, economic empowerment, advocacy and education in Timor-Leste.

Anne Fairbairn, Rosemary Nugent and Wendy Mayne


10 Year Celebration

June 2018

There was a meeting of old and new friends at the GVFS 10 year celebration dinner held recently at The Davidson Restaurant. The connection between Geelong and East Timor has resulted in many partnerships and ongoing friendships, and we are incredibly proud of the work being taken up by the schools of Geelong. Education is the key to the future for this young country and having friends willing to help the people of East Timor re establish their education system is both vital and a privilege. Laura Blanchard from Mary McKillop International was the key note speaker. Laura took us through the programs being delivered with funding from GVFS in the Viqueque region.

At the dinner we acknowledged the Butler family for their generous contribution that allowed for the establishment of libraries and the upskilling of staff in such a remote region. It was wonderful that Gael was able to attend the dinner.

A photographic exhibition added some colour to the evening on the theme ‘East Timor, Beautiful Land to the North’. With guests having the opportunity to purchase the framed prints at the end of the evening. Graeme Barton, from Christian College was also able to give a first hand account of their 2018 teacher training program that’s going from strength to strength. It has been inspiring to see what Christian College have achieved over the years.


Movie – Time to Draw the Line

July 31, 2017

Want to know more about the long-running maritime boundary dispute between East Timor and Australia? Come along to a movie night held by Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools.

The  screening of ‘Time to Draw the Line’  will be on  31 July at 8:30pm at the Pivotonian Cinema, Geelong.

 Tickets are available by clicking here.



Deakin – GVFS Youth Tour to Timor-Leste

July 7, 2015

Deakin University’s Faculty of Health in collaboration with Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools are investigating the feasibility of coordinating an inaugural Student Youth Tour visit to Timor for a two week period at the end of the 2015 and or 2016 Yr 12 school years.

The visit will aim to provide students with a range of volunteering experiences and action tasks across a range of Government and Community organizations and districts in Timor-Leste. This would include visits to and participation in projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Viqueque Friendship Schools and Many Hands International.

As an inaugural pilot program there will be a limited number of student places available for this tour. Applicants will be selected on the quality of their applications as well as the selection criteria to include an appropriate quota of exit year 12 students from a range of participating Friendship Schools across the Geelong area.

An information session for interested Year 11 and 12 students and parents to further discuss details of the Timor Student Youth Tour has now been scheduled. Information session speakers will include Professor John Toumbourou (Deakin University), Mr Peter Cannon (President Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools) as well as Mr Afonso Soares and Mr Simao Do Rosario representatives from the Ministry of Education, Timor Leste.

Timor Youth Tour Information session:

Venue: Western Beach Room Room, Sally Walker Building

Entrance from Western Beach Rd or Cunningham St, take lift to 6th level (Rm AD6.104)

Campus: Deakin Waterfront Geelong (See Campus Map Below)

Date: Tuesday 7 July

Time: 6 to 8pm

RSVP: Mr Chris Loughnan email:


Timor-Leste Student Day


Our fifth annual Day in Viqueque was very well successful with 125 students and 15 teachers from 11 Geelong schools attending. With sessions relevant to students from primary years to senior secondary the aim was to increase student knowledge of Timor-Leste and the lives of students living and learning in Viqueque.

There were also presentations from With One Seed a social enterprise that is taking action on climate change through community forestry in East Timor and from Special Guest Chris Van Ignen whose talk on addressing the problems of Global Poverty was once again the highlight of the day.


East Timor Student Day


This event will be held at St Joseph’s College in May. Schools interested in attending please contact Peter Cannon. Program will be similar to previous years. Please refer to Newsletter No 25, 2013 on web page.SAM_0888


Annual Dinner

March 2014

Our Annual Dinner has been scheduled for Friday March 28 at Dromoland House, Pakington Street Geelong West. The guest speaker will be Rae Kingsbury, the Counsul-General for Timor-Leste. Keep the date free – more details to follow.


 East Timor Student Day

May 2013

This annual event will again be held at St Joseph’s College on May 2. All Geelong partner schools have been sent invitations. There are still places available please contact Peter Cannon on 0352615378  if your students would like to attend.

Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools is holding its fourth annual A Day in Viqueque, Timor-Leste on May 2  at St Joseph’s College, Newtown.  It is a full day of workshops and activities. that  provide a rewarding and enriching experience for students across all year levels.

 There is a limit of 15 students per school to accomodate the students from the 14 schools in our network. All students will participate in the opening and closing sessions. Students will participate in four workshops as detailed.  Every attempt will be made to give the students the workshops of their choice.  Workshops are designed for Year Groupings of 5-9 and 10-12.


Timor-Leste’s Restoration of Independence Day

May 2013

Timor-Leste’s Restoration of Independence day is officially on Monday 20 May 2013. However, in keeping with tradition we will be celebrating independence day on the Friday (17 May) in the Council Chambers with the flag raising ceremony in the usual location. Stay tuned for further information.

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