Category Archives: Women

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:

Improving Maternal Health in Timor Leste

Clonard College hosted their very first night market on the 17th of April 2015. It was an amazing turn out and a new tradition Clonard will uphold for the oncoming years. It was an opportunity for Clonard girls and families to show off their arts and crafts skills to our Clonard community. Stalls such as second hand clothing, jewellery, plants and busking where just a number of things offered at the night market.

Not only was it to show of the students, it was also to create awareness for the East Timorese maternal and child health section of the Alola foundation. Through my eye opening and life changing trip to East Timor last year with Clonard we were fortunate enough to visit the Alola foundation. A lady that worked with the Alola Foundation gave us an insight on how high maternal and child mortality rates where, throughout East Timor.

Knowing that we could make a difference by donating $25 dollars, which then goes towards maternal packs for the mothers and the newborn babies, which can then reduce the mortality rates almost made our jaws drop. It’s amazing that such a small amount of money for Australians can save both mothers and babies lives in East Timor.

Despite East Timor having so little the Timorese are very generous, friendly and appreciative. They are determined to work for a brighter future and to educate others which is exactly what the Alola Foundation are doing. I’m proud to say that Clonard raised over $1000 dollars and the students going on the East Timor trip this year will be giving all of the raised money straight into the hands of the Alola Foundation, which will then be given to the deserving mothers of Timor.

The Timorese are very grateful for the donations that are given to them, but they are more appreciative of us supporting them and building strong connections with them knowing we will always be a helping hand, which is something Clonard College proudly does.

Caitlin Bury, C0-Captain Clonard College Year 12

Women’s Empowerment Program: creating incredible friendships, bonds and memories

Early in 2015 Sacred Heart College Geelong organised a student trip to Timor Leste. In the following report one of the students who participated provides a powerful portrait of how we can work together to build opportunities for all, especially those whose life circumstances are more difficult than our own.

Our Global Partnership experience with CTID Girls College in Baucau, Timor-Leste was unforgettable, enriching, life changing and incredibly eye opening. Although the trip only lasted ten days, everything was planned by Destination Dreaming, SHC and CTID to make sure not one minute was wasted. In the first few days we became used to being in a new country with a different culture. We spent time in Dili where we learnt a lot about the history of East Timor and their tragic past. However along with this we also discovered what an amazing young country East Timor is and gained a lot of respect for the young people who fought for their own country’s independence.

We then travelled along the coast from the capital of Dili, to Baucau, where we were to meet up with the girls we were to be working with at Cannossian College (CTID). It was here that we spent four days working together with the young women at the College who are part of the Women’s Empowerment Program. This program provides the young women with the opportunity to learn skills such a sewing, cooking, technology, office administration and English that will allow them to become self sufficient and support themselves and their family in the future.

Most of us went to East Timor thinking we would be giving more to the girls than they would us, however it was amazing surprising how wrong we were. Our time at the college allowed us to create incredible friendships, bonds and memories with the girls. Despite the language barrier and living completely different lives back home, it was amazing to see how much we had in common with the girls and how much we could learn from them. The ten days went faster than any of us expected and going home definitely involved mixed emotions however there is no doubt that everyone who went on the trip walked away with a new perspective on how we now view and appreciate our families, our education and our lives at home as well as how lucky we are to be born young women in a country such as Australia where we have so many opportunities for our futures.

A huge thanks to Ms Gillett, Mr Ansell and Clint Miller from Destination Dreaming for helping to make this the best experience possible!

Alice C. – Student, Sacred Heart College, Geelong


Friday Night Market Geelong

Alola Fundraiser

Alola Fundraiser