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. 
Mixing with local students Stone playground at school
Students work in the classroom in Timor Friendships are renewed and strengthened with each visit

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.