Summary of the Annual Report 2014/5
Friends of Baucau is an organisation that began 15 years ago. During this time there have been 8 separate delegations from Baucau to Yarra and Darebin and more than 20 different visits by FoB members to Baucau District. Fundraising efforts by supporters of Friends of Baucau have resulted in many wonderful programs of partnership and mutual support and amounted to around $300,000 in donations and in kind support during the past 15 years.
Following the disassociation from the Administration of Yarra and Darebin Cities, Friends of Baucau Inc. (FoB) was established as an independent community association a little more than four years ago. During this time it has continued to receive support from the Cities of Yarra and Darebin while steadily growing as a community based organisation. Our friendship association with the communities of the 11 villages of the Baucau Vila is now through the executive of UNAP (Unity, Action and Progress) together with the support of the Sub-District Government of Baucau Vila in Baucau District, Timor-Leste
This past year has been exceptionally active and engaging for the communities of Darebin and Yarra. So it is with pleasure that I present this annual report for 2014-5. The report describes the work we have supported in Baucau itself and the work we have done in Australia. In summary the report will cover what has happened in Baucau and here in Darebin and Yarra.
In Baucau we provided support in the following areas
- Capacity strengthening – helping village heads and their staff with administration including office equipment; providing opportunities for English Language training and providing coaching on report writing, email communication and organisation management
- Networking building – connecting our association with other NGOs and Community Groups either from Baucau or working in Baucau, including Afalyca Community Arts Centre and Info Timor.
- Scholarships – providing funding directly to the ICFP Marist Teachers Training College for students from the Baucau District to attend
- Training – Helping provide access to youth training and adult education opportunities.
In the Cities of Darebin and Yarra we have carried out the following activities
- Community building – hosting 4 delegates from Baucau Vila to attend the national gathering of Friendship Groups in Darebin and to meet with the community and officials over a two week period. Also providing opportunities for Timorese living in Australia to perform at Cultural Events especially a most successful Culture Night in collaboration with the Darebin Intercultural Centre.
- Fundraising – with the support of Coffee Mio based Thornbury, selling Timorese coffee in fundraising packs and at coffee stalls at community events in Yarra and Darebin. In conjunction with Westgath Theatre we organised a special screening of a newly released film. Also our Annual Dinner with special guest, Anna Noronha was again successful
- Networking – Working with Timorese and other cultural associations to promote their activities in Australia and to connect Australian groups interested in Timor with urban and village communities around Baucau
- Communication- through quarterly newsletters, websites and Facebook we keep our mailing list and other related networks informed of latest developments. We also circulated new and information about Timor-Leste for example through a film about the Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta.
- Administration – with the support of the Darebin City, Friends of Baucau has a hot desk for administration on Mondays every week and holds a monthly meeting of the organising Committee
Coming Year Plans
In 2015 we plan to organise three major community events in Darebin and Yarra and continue our networking cooperation with other Friendship groups and other community agencies. Our challenge is to consolidate and expand our membership and to increase our routine donation program. In July we will send a delegation to visit Baucau and use the occasion to help build the network of Friendship groups across the whole of Baucau District. The Annual Plan and Draft budget will be presented at the March 2015 Monthly Meeting.
Once again I would like to thank all who have contributed to our successes in 2014 while looking forward to a great year in 2015.
Christopher Dureau – Convenor Friends of Baucau Inc.