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Autumn Edition Newsletter 2023
Message from Kirsty
Dear <<First Name>>

I hope this Newsletter finds you well, rested and recharged after the summer holiday season.

As the Chairwoman of Fundasaun Alola, I am proud to welcome you to the first edition of
Alola Australia’s Supporter Newsletter for 2023.

The Fundasaun Alola team in Dili has the year underway with a mid-term review of our Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and recruitment of some new members to our wonderful Leadership Team. You will hear about this in the course of the year.

The centrepiece of our 2023 Timor-Leste Study Tour is a large fundraising event for Fundasaun Alola at which Xanana Gusmão will play a pivotal role - as he has done in the past. The Tour, to take place from June 12 to 20, is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty of Timor-Leste, while learning about the incredible work that Fundasaun Alola is doing to support women and children. 

I encourage you to express your interest in the Tour as soon as possible and to learn more about the incredible impact that Fundasaun Alola is making in the lives of so many. (Contact: or 0433 176 016)

Your on-going support is instrumental in Alola’s mission to empower women and children, and to create a brighter future for them and their communities. I look forward to keeping in touch with you throughout 2023 and sharing our progress and achievements.

Warm regards
Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO
Fundasaun Alola Founder and Chair
Feto Forte, Nasaun Forte
News from Macu
Good day to our Alola Australia friends!  I hope you had a good start to the year and are in good health for 2023.

2022 was very productive for Fundasaun Alola.  We achieved our mission and objectives for most of our planned program activities. We therefore thank all our Alola Australia supporters. You assisted us to achieve our mission. 

We began 2023 by implementing our own internal fundraising – one of the goals of our Strategic Plan 2020-2024.  We opened our Child Care Centre to the public! Previously it only supported the children of our staff.

On 7 February we commemorated World Cancer Day.  We held a workshop to raise awareness of women's cancers, cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.  50 health workers from community health centres and health posts in the Dili Municipality attended, as well as community leaders, and also students from the Viqueque Municipality. 

This year we will determinedly continue our commitment to support and improve the lives of the women and children in our beloved country.

We hope you, our special friends and supporters in Australia, will remain committed to supporting us in 2023 and for the years ahead.  We need you! We thank you!

Macu Guterres, CEO Fundasaun Alola
The Gift of Knowledge for Christmas – Thank you!
In late 2022 we asked you to recognise the crucial role of education in the life trajectory of women and girls, as well as their nation of Timor-Leste. In response you contributed to a range of Fundasaun Alola's brilliant programs aimed at enhancing literacy, providing reading materials and sending students to school. 

Thanks to you, our Christmas Campaign raised an unpreced
ented $32,000.  This will directly provide young women and girls in Timor-Leste with better access to education. This equates to a significant impact at an individual, community, and national level. 

We thank each of you for recognising the importance and transformative power of education.
Supporting Fundasaun Alola
Rob Lee says “No to birthday presents but you may like to support Fundasaun Alola!”

Sue Lee, Alola Australia’s Administration Manager, writes about her husband Rob’s birthday:

Recently it was my husband’s 70th birthday party.  At 70 Rob didn’t need gifts – so the invitation read:
Please, no presents - just your presence!
You may like to donate to Alola Australia,
an organisation supporting women and children in Timor-Leste. 

Use this link or put cash in the box on the day.”

At the party I displayed a summary in pictures of what Alola is about which generated great discussion. Friends contributed cash on the day, others used PayPal or Alola’s direct credit facility, donating a total of $520 to Fundasaun Alola’s Mobile Library Program. And many more people are now aware of Alola Australia and our partner Fundasaun Alola.
Thank you Rob and Sue Lee!

Evelyn raises $1,000 from her church community - Holy Saviour Parish, Vermont South

Every Christmas this Parish runs a Christmas Care and Share Appeal run by their Third World Interest Group (TWIG).  Proceeds are shared with St Vincent de Paul.

For Christmas 2022 TWIG decided to focus on mothers and babies in Timor-Leste, and to make a donation to support Fundasaun Alola’s work.  One of the parishioners is Evelyn Diradji, a founding member of TWIG, who has had a long-time interest in Indonesia, working and visiting often.  She is also familiar with Timor-Leste’s journey to Independence.

Evelyn’s good friend Dewani participated in the Kirsty Sword Gusmāo Study Tour in 2022.  Dewani’s enthusiasm for Alola’s work inspired Evelyn to suggest the cause to TWIG for the Care and Share Appeal.  As a result $1,250 has been donated to Alola.
Thank you Evelyn, Dewani, TWIG and the Holy Saviour Parish for your support for Fundasaun Alola.
News from Alola Australia's Co-Chairs     Maria Bohan & Helen Skinner
The Board of Alola Australia has ‘hit the ground running’ in 2023, determined to work hard to support our sisters in Timor-Leste.

We are thrilled to welcome and introduce you to new Board Director Heather Wallace

Heather first visited Timor-Leste in 2011. Heather’s background is in nursing, midwifery and public health, and she currently works in higher education. Meeting some of the women, children and midwives on her 2011 trip prompted her to return to university to undertake further studies and research, focused on maternal health in Timor-Leste. Heather also has a connection to Timor-Leste through her local ‘Friendship Schools’ Group – based in Geelong. She has visited Viqueque a number of times through this link.

Heather is passionate about maternal health and empowering women and is drawn to Alola Australia for these shared values.

Heather visited Fundasaun Alola in 2019 and met Mana Nuni, Co-ordinator of the Scholarship Program, and the 3 women whom Heather and her husband Rod have been supporting through the 'Ann Whyte Scholarships’, administered through Alola Australia and Fundasaun Alola.
Alola Australia is already thinking ahead to Mother’s Day, Sunday 14 May 2023.
Our new Board Director Heather Wallace will write to you about ‘mothers’ and invite you to support all the mothers of Timor-Leste!  Stay tuned!

More news about our Mother's Day Appeal will be coming to your inbox soon!
Strong Women - Strong Nation
Position Vacant - Auditor for Alola Australia
Alola Australia is proud that our annual financial report is formally audited each year.

The audit provides confidence in our financial reporting for our supporters, our partner Fundasaun Alola, as well as government regulators and other stakeholders.

We are seeking a new auditor, to commence with the audit of our 2023 financial report (31 December 2023 year-end), for which audit procedures are required to be conducted in February/March 2024.

We would appreciate any referrals from Alola supporters, of audit firms who might be interested in working with us.

Please email with details as soon as possible.

Helen Skinner, Alola Australia Co-Chair and Stephen Lavender, Treasurer
Alola Australia acknowledges that we work, live, and play on the traditional lands of First Nations people.  We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and 3 structural reforms: a Voice to Parliament, a Treaty, and Truth Telling.

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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 382, Abbotsford, VIC 3067
Phone:  +61 0437 983 070

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Alola Australia · PO Box 382 · Abbotsford, Vic 3067 · Australia

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