Geelong Celebrates Timor-Leste Independence

During May, the City of Greater Geelong marked the 15th anniversary of East Timor’s Independence with a flag ceremony at City Hall. Approximately 60 people were in attendance, which included representatives from Geelong Friends of Viqueque, Geelong Friendship Health Inc and Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools Inc.

Robyn Stevens, Manager Connected Communities emceed the event. Ms Stevens highlighted that the ceremony was a symbolic recognition of the connection between the people of Geelong and those of the District of Viqueque in East Timor.

“The local community has helped raise funds for the District of Viqueque, with the funds going towards the development of essential education and health services, including training teachers and nurses, and building and upgrading schools.

The flag ceremony was preceded by a student session, which included an excellent presentation by Christian College Year 12 Prefects Montana Jones, Millie Lowe, Cian Foster and Ronen Jafari who shared their learnings from their visits to East Timor.

Senior Sergeant Mark Lee from Victoria Police gave a heartfelt presentation on his work in East Timor as part of the first UN Police Force (INTERFET).

Sister Maria Moniz, who is the Principal of the Canossia Girls College in Baucau East Timor, and a guest of Sacred Heart College Geelong, read the Poem for Independence Day by Xanana Gusmao.

Christian Coll

Photo: SSgt Lee (right) with students from Christian College Geelong

Newsletter bumper edition

The latest edition of our newsletter has been released!

It includes a report from our President’s recent visit to Timor Leste and details of an upcoming fundraiser.

Click here to read

Time to Draw the Line

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 8:30 at the Pivotonian Cinema, Geelong.

 Tickets are available by clicking here.


Record Numbers!

On Sunday afternoon 23rd April at 01 Viqueque, almost all of the 2017 scholarship holders were presented with certificates and money. A number of parents were present and two of the school principals. Mariano’s meticulous organisation resulted in a most impressive ceremony. There are 73 recipients for 2017 including those directly funded by Sacred Heart College and Geelong High School, with a total outlay of $US 8,000

All Geelong partner secondary and pre secondary schools were represented:

Secondary:           Calixa 9, 4 Septembro 12, St Esteavo 7 and Olocasa 8,

Pre-Secondary:   01 Viqueque 13, Cabira 4, St Teresinha 10 and Mundo Perdido 10.





Our Hungry Neighbour

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger. By raising awareness and understanding of regional and country differences in hunger, the GHI aims to trigger actions to reduce hunger.

Yes, Timor Leste is 9th. Another critical reason for us to maintain our
support for education in Timor Leste.

New Committee for 2016-2017

The recent Annual General meeting that was held at Clonard College saw a changing of the guard. We saw three highly committed committee members step down this year. Louise Madden, as Vice President, and Michael O’Donnell, as Secretary, have each  served six years on the committee. Louise has made huge contributions to our fundraising events, especially the Trivia Night and her personal link with Sacred Heart College. Michael has been a keen advocate within The Geelong College and was responsible for setting up and maintaining our  web site. Brian Edward has been with us from the start 10 years ago. He has sustained his enthusiasm for all aspects of our work and I have very much appreciated his personal support. Brian again demonstrated his outstanding commitment to Timor Leste with his recent leadership in raising $15,000 for the Alola Foundation.

The New Office Holders:

President – Peter Cannon
Vice President – David Whelan
Secretary – Julie Whelan
Treasurer – Michael Wright

The General Committee: Jonathon Chapman, Patrice Hall, Tricia Blane, James Palmer, Will Birkett, Janet Taylor, Chris Clark, Rachel Roche and new member Chris Hansen (Deputy Principal, Christ the King, Newcomb)

Major Fundraising Effort in Geelong for the Alola Foundation

Geelong Friends of Viqueque – Alola Foundation Fundraising Dinner


In Timor-Leste, many women lose their lives during childbirth due to limited resources. Approximately one in twenty children in Timor-Leste do not live to the age of five. Alola’s Maternal and Child Health Program seeks to improve the safety and wellbeing of mothers and babies.

The Geelong Friends of Viqueque will be holding a fund raising dinner for the Alola Foundation. Join us for a two course dinner as we raise funds to develop a Mother Support Group in Viqueque.

Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmao AO, former First Lady of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and founder and chair of the Alola Foundation will be addressing the audience with her thoughtful presentation on the struggles faced by women and children in East Timor.

Following this, a Q & A will be held with a panel including Ms Maria Imaculada Guterres, Manager of Maternal and Child Health Programs at Fundasaun Alola of Dili; and Ms Deb Singleton, Science Coordinator at Christian College Geelong.

When: Friday 5 August
Time: 6:30pm
Where: Fred Flanagan Room, Geelong Football Club, Kardinia Park
Costs: Adult (no concessions): $100.00 / (Table of ten): $900.00

Please RSVP by 1 August 2016
For bookings/payment, or more information: Click here or contact Steve Levakis P: 5272 4044 | E: