Timor Leste Trips
Radford staff and students have visited Timor-Leste every year since 2009. We have a ten year commitment from 2013 to return. The roots of our engagement can be located in some historical facts:
- Timor-Leste is Australia’s closest neighbour (capital city to capital city, barely an hour’s flight from Darwin)
- In 2015 it was declared the third hungriest nation on the planet
- Australia has ‘a debt of honour’, established in the Timorese’s remarkable and ultimately costly support for Australian soldiers in the Pacific War
- The grand daughter of one of those soldiers is a part of the Radford story (Paddy Kenneally’s grand daughter, Bridget Chivers-Kenneally)
- In 1999 Australia began to repay that debt by leading the INTERFET UN peace-keeping mission
- Many Radford parents are AFP and ADF who have done tours in Timor-Leste.
Our relationship is fundamentally about friendship and mutual learning. The fruit of that relationship is difficult to measure, however, some highlights might be: video and story book documentaries “42 footsteps”; teaching resources with the ministry of education; teacher to teacher partnerships and resource development; microfinance programme support; mother tongue readers, including ‘Milagre ikan nian’; support for Timorese tertiary education.
The friendships that have spanned over eight years are some of the most simple fruits.