Volunteering in Timor-Leste

Just a short flight from Darwin, Timor-Leste is a young country working hard to secure a prosperous future.

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Michelle volunteers at HIAM Health as a Horticulture Mentor in Timor-Leste. Pictured here with Augusto and Saul.
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Tais for sale at a market in Dili. Tais is Timor’s traditional fabric, with different patterns from just about every village in the country.
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Young people enjoying afternoon on the boat, Dili, Timor-Leste.

Colonised by Portugal in the 16th Century, and later occupied by Indonesia in 1975, Timor-Leste has a fascinating history and cultural heritage. In 2002, it became the first new sovereign state of the 21st Century. A decade-long struggle for independence has created numerous development challenges for this young nation.

The small nation has taken great strides towards economic development since independence and continues to tackle social, political and economic challenges. Human development indicators continue to improve, but 30 per cent of the country still lives on less than US$1.90 a day.

Australian aid and the Australian Volunteers program have been at the forefront of international support for Timor-Leste, guided by the Australian Government’s Aid Investment Plan for Timor-Leste while also retaining the flexibility to respond to emerging priorities.

Volunteer assignments focus on a range of development issues including supporting sustainable livelihood, education, improving governance and accountability and human rights.