At a meeting of the Council of Port Phillip in May an extension to the Friendship Agreement with Suai was agreed to in principal.
Since then the Friends of Suai have been celebrating the ten years with a range of activities. The first was an exhibition held in The Gallery St Kilda Town Hall in May-June titled Connections Across the Timor Sea – Memory Friendship and Future. Opened by the brand new Ambassador to Australia, Abel Guterres the exhibition showed the history behind the friendship that dates back to WW2 through the work of Sgt George Milsom father of local artist Liz Milsom. It also provided a platform in a physical gallery space for some of the most recent work of the media group here on Suai Media Space social network as well as some of the work by Suai youth in a Photography workshop held last year in YoMaTre.
On September 9 President Jose Ramos Horta will visit Port Phillip and attend a civic reception to be held in the St Kilda Town Hall. On the following day the 10th September Friends of Suai will hold a Schools Forum in the Town Hall. President Jose Ramos Horta will give a speech titled ‘Facing the Future’ about regional partnerships and getting connected with our Asian neighbours as well as the challenges and rewards for Australia. According to Co-ordinator of Friends of Suai Pat Jessen a federal politician, still be be announced, will be speaking on the real challenges regional politics has for ordinary Australians.
Schools are invited to attend and participate in a plenary for students to consider what they think about staying connected with East Timor.