Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network

The Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network (AusTimorFN) is very pleased to announce the position of its first state Convenor, Máire Sheehan, to convene the New South Wales branch of the Network.

Máire’s acceptance of this position comes as the AusTimorFN establishes branches in each of the states to ensure the Friendship Groups have proper representation and communication between each other and the Government of Timor-Leste. The convenors of the Friendship Network state branches will, with the national convenor, comprise the national committee of the AusTimorFN.

Máire’s acceptance of this position is especially welcome given her long-standing commitment to Timor-Leste and her work with the Friends of Maliana. Máire, a former Mayor and councillor of Sydney’s Leichardt City Council and a professional trainer, has been a regular visitor to Timor-Leste. She looks forward to the working with the government of Timor-Leste to help train local political leaders and administrators following the coming District elections.

As part of her work with the Friends of Maliana, Máire was one of the Friends of Maliana who were registered by the Government of Timor-Leste as an observer to the 2007 round of presidential and parliamentary elections. At that time, she monitored the elections in Maliana and throughout the sub-district. Máire also recently signed off on a major project between the Friends of Maliana and the Government of Timor-Leste to refurbish the Maliana Ginasio (gymnasium), to which the council will contribute $50,000.

The Ginasio is a building of great significance to the people of Maliana and has the potential to bring the community together for sporting events and gatherings to assist with reconciliation after the terrible events that occurred there during the 1999 violence. The people of Maliana identified the refurbishment of this facility as a key way to help this reconciliation process.

The Friendship Network welcomes Máire and looks forward to working with her to produce the best possible outcomes for the people of Timor-Leste.

In friendship,

Rae Kingsbury (nee Perry)