Gearing Up for 2014

Our final meeting for 2013 was a Review Session conducted at Geelong Grammar School. We had 22 members and guests at the meeting where our focus was to identify the key areas for improving our program both in Viqueque and in Geelong with our partner schools.

We began by reviewing the SWOT analysis conducted in December 2012. We reflected on our strengths, we probed our weaknesses, and identified the opportunities before us and considered the threats that we could face.

Pleasingly many of the opportunities identified in 2012 had been followed up during the year – particularly, by the many members from Geelong who had visited Viqueque during the year. Other opportunities that we have addressed included employing Mariano Da Silva as our Project Officer in Viqueque and organization of the PD program for teachers in Viqueque which is in the pipeline for a January start thanks to the generous donation from the Butler family. An opportunity identified for 2014 was to find a way for students who have been to Viqueque to speak with students from our network schools.

The most significant threat identified concerned health issues. Others included the problem of sustaining strong, active links with our partner schools and problems faced with money transfers to Viqueque. We need to ensure better contact with our Embassy, DFAT and the parish priest in Viqueque. Plans need to be put in place to develop a template for groups intending to travel to Timor Leste. With regards our work in Geelong we need a stronger links with a key staff from each Geelong school to ensure a strong commitment to raising the issue of Timor Leste within the schools, to better coordinate fund-raising and to make sure that the study of Timor Leste is undertaken within the curriculum. There is still need to arrange a reliable process of getting money to Viqueque to pay for our projects.

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