Indigo Shire Ata’uro Island Friendship Group members and Beechworth citizens Lesley Milne (left) and Erica Ruck with an East Timorese family on a recent trip to Ata’uro.
JENNY Coles will this Sunday — 27 July — deliver the twelfth Kerferd Oration at Beechworth’s Baarmutha Park.
Ms Coles (shown at left) is the Australian liaison representative for education for Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the Australian-born wife of Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão.
The activist and humanitarian will speak of her experiences in Timor-Leste as she explores the role of Indigo Shire communities supporting the development of this emerging island nation 720 kilometres north west of Darwin.
Based in Timor-Leste and Australia, Ms Coles supports the work of Her Excellency Kirsty Sword Gusmão in building access to education for all Timorese.
Education is seen as the cornerstone of nation building and Ms Coles is now co-ordinating a team of architects and stakeholders as they design and construct a school that will be a model for future school projects.
In her current role, Ms Coles organises fundraising and awareness events to support the Ms Sword Gusmao’s work. She continues to project-manage the Rural School Development Program in remote communities of Timor-Leste.
Kerferd O—ration Committee chair Ian McKinlay said that Sunday’s Oration was the first to focus on a regional issue, designed to explore the idea of ‘thinking globally, acting locally’.
“It will provide an opportunity for our community to think about how we might do things differently, how we might develop understanding and knowledge about the issues that face a developing community.