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 granddaughter of one of those soldiers is a part of the Radford story (Paddy Kenneally's granddaughter, 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 ten years are some of the most simple fruits.