10 Year Celebration

June 2018

There was a meeting of old and new friends at the GVFS 10 year celebration dinner held recently at The Davidson Restaurant. The connection between Geelong and East Timor has resulted in many partnerships and ongoing friendships, and we are incredibly proud of the work being taken up by the schools of Geelong. Education is the key to the future for this young country and having friends willing to help the people of East Timor re establish their education system is both vital and a privilege. Laura Blanchard from Mary McKillop International was the key note speaker. Laura took us through the programs being delivered with funding from GVFS in the Viqueque region.

At the dinner we acknowledged the Butler family for their generous contribution that allowed for the establishment of libraries and the upskilling of staff in such a remote region. It was wonderful that Gael was able to attend the dinner.

A photographic exhibition added some colour to the evening on the theme ‘East Timor, Beautiful Land to the North’. With guests having the opportunity to purchase the framed prints at the end of the evening.

Graeme Barton, from Christian College was also able to give a first hand account of their 2018 teacher training program that’s going from strength to strength. It has been inspiring to see what Christian College have achieved over the years.


Movie – time to draw the line

July 31 2017

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.


Deakin – GVFS Youth Tour to Timor Leste

July 7 2015

Deakin University’s Faculty of Health in collaboration with Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools are investigating the feasibility of coordinating an inaugural Student Youth Tour visit to Timor for a two week period at the end of the 2015 and or 2016 Yr 12 school years.

The visit will aim to provide students with a range of volunteering experiences and action tasks across a range of Government and Community organizations and districts in Timor Leste. This would include visits to and participation in projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Viqueque Friendship Schools and Many Hands International.

As an inaugural pilot program there will be a limited number of student places available for this tour. Applicants will be selected on the quality of their applications as well as the selection criteria to include an appropriate quota of exit year 12 students from a range of participating Friendship Schools across the Geelong area.

An information session for interested Year 11 and 12 students and parents to further discuss details of the Timor Student Youth Tour has now been scheduled. Information session speakers will include Professor John Toumbourou (Deakin University), Mr Peter Cannon (President Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools) as well as Mr Afonso Soares and Mr Simao Do Rosario representatives from the Ministry of Education, Timor Leste.

Timor Youth Tour Information session:

Venue: Western Beach Room Room, Sally Walker Building

Entrance from Western Beach Rd or Cunningham St, take lift to 6th level (Rm AD6.104)

Campus: Deakin Waterfront Geelong (See Campus Map Below)

Date: Tuesday 7 July

Time: 6 to 8pm

RSVP: Mr Chris Loughnan email:

2015 Timor Leste Student Day

Our fifth annual Day in Viqueque was very well successful with 125 students and 15 teachers from 11 Geelong schools attending. With sessions relevant to students from primary years to senior secondary the aim was to increase student knowledge of Timor Leste and the lives of students living and learning in Viqueque.

There were also presentations from With One Seed a social enterprise that is taking action on climate change through community forestry in East Timor and from Special Guest Chris Van Ignen whose talk on addressing the problems of Global Poverty was once again the highlight of the day.

2014 East Timor Student DAy

This event will be held at St Joseph’s College in May. Schools interested in attending please contact Peter Cannon 0352615378. Program will be similar to previous years. Please refer to Newsletter No 25, 2013 on web page.SAM_0888

2014 Annual Dinner

Our Annual Dinner has been scheduled for Friday March 28 at Dromoland House, Pakington Street Geelong West. The guest speaker will be Rae Kingsbury, the Counsul-General for Timor Leste. Keep the date free – more details to follow.

2013 East Timor Student Day

This annual event will again be held at St Joseph’s College on May 2. All Geelong partner schools have been sent invitations. There are still places available please contact Peter Cannon on 0352615378  if your students would like to attend.

Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools is holding its fourth annual A Day in Viqueque, Timor Leste on May 2  at St Joseph’s College, Newtown.  It is a full day of workshops and activities. that  provide a rewarding and enriching experience for students across all year levels.

 There is a limit of 15 students per school to accomodate the students from the 14 schools in our network.

All students will participate in the opening and closing sessions. Students will participate in four workshops as detailed.  Every attempt will be made to give the students the workshops of their choice.  Workshops are designed for Year Groupings of 5-9 and 10-12.

Timor Leste’s Independence Day

Timor Leste’s Independence day is officially on Monday 20 May 2013. However, in keeping with tradition we will be celebrating independence day on the Friday (17 May) in the Council Chambers with the flag raising ceremony in the usual location. Stay tuned for further information.

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