Five Australian teachers of English language are volunteering to go to Suai, East Timor to
provide intensive four week training to English teachers in September 2009.
The City of Port Phillip sponsored community group Friends of Suai, have organised an
orientation over the next eight weeks to prepare the teachers for working in a developing
country with sessions on history, culture lifestyle and language.
Friends of Suai received a request from English teachers in Suai for the training and the
program has been endorsed by national government to provide an appropriate curriculum
suitable for the teachers. The Community Centre in Suai, supported by the City of Port Phillip
will host the teachers during their stay.
“The City of Port Phillip is committed to a ten year partnership to help rebuild Suai, which
suffered some of the worst excesses after the pro-independence vote in 1999,” said Mayor
Frank O’Connor. “Life is still difficult in the new nation but together we are making things
happen,” he said.
Friends of Suai Committee member Desleigh Kent and Jenny Green, a retired teacher will
share the role of team leaders on the upcoming trip. They have both visited Suai and are
looking forward to this new challenge and adventure.
“We have a wonderful group of teachers with a wealth of experience in teaching in China,
Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma all with insight and development experience,” said Desleigh.
“We are particularly pleased to represent Port Phillip at the 10 year commemoration of the
Suai massacre in September this year. It will be a significant time to be in Suai and an
important act of friendship,” he said.
The teachers will pay their own fares and expenses to go to East Timor and Friends of Suai
will provide accommodation transport and teaching resources whilst they are in country.
Most people speak at least three languages in East Timor with Tetun being the language
generally understood across the country. Both English and Portuguese are compulsory
languages in secondary schools and English is the international language that many Timorese
are keen to learn.
The teachers will start their orientation training on Friday 26 June at the St Kilda Town Hall.
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