About the Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network
The Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network (AusTimorFN) brings together Australia Timor-Leste Friendship groups that operate across Australia and in Timor-Leste. The Network was established in late 2009 as Australian groups and delegates to the first Friendship Conference (held in Dili in 2008) sought a way to support each other with information sharing, lessons learned and contacts. In July 2009, the Timor-Leste Minister for State Administration Snr Archangelo Leite endorsed this activity and direction for the Friendship Groups to establish a central point of communication for all.
AusTimorFN seeks to bring about a better flow of information between Friendship groups and partner communities in Timor-Leste and, importantly, with the Government of Timor-Leste. The Network’s evolving design seeks to facilitate the work of and communication between the Australia Timor-Leste Friendship groups that have grown from communities across Australia. The Network has a ‘point of contact’ in each State and a National Convenor. Based on the founding principles of the Friendship groups, the Network continues to endorse:
- Respect and support for Timorese-led decision-making,
- Sustainable and long-term (10 years) assistance, and
- Relationships are based on partnerships of mutual respect and collaboration.
How will the Network work?
In 2009 discussions with Minister Leite and the AusTimorFN, it was agreed to
- Work with close coordination to better facilitate individual Friendship arrangements;
- Support Timor-Leste’s plans for sustainable development.
- Explore opportunities for developing and extending programs, including electoral observation, political training
Friends in Timor-Leste requested that we establish the basic principles of operation and create a central point for communication for Friendship activities. The advantages of this proposal for Australian Friendship groups are that we assist local government in strengthening local communities, establish further opportunities for funding of training, expand our understanding of international issues and build positive connections. The members of the AusTimorFN will enjoy working with each other and with the Government of Timor-Leste to build our communities stronger.