Page 426 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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The book tells the amazing story of the establishment of a home in Timor-Leste by Ryder-Cheshire Australia in the year 2000. Klibur Domin is a home that Ryder-Cheshire have been operating for 15 years. In this time Klibur Domin has developed into a locally staffed and managed 70-bed healthcare facility to provide much-needed treatment to patients suffering from TB, kidney failure, malnutrition, fractures and wounds. It provides much-needed support to relieve pressure on the local hospital system.

Operating 17 kilometres from Dili, the Klibur Domin home also has two main outreach programs operating to further help the citizens of Timor-Leste. These outreach programs’ main aim is to detect and treat tuberculosis in remote villages and also support children living with a disability in their villages, which are both major issues in Timor-Leste.

The day-to-day management of the house, such as caring, cooking, cleaning and security, is entrusted to local people who keep the home running, with Australian volunteers continuing to provide ongoing assistance and support.

I can proudly say that the majority of funds to run the home are raised in Australia and are sourced through public donations and various fundraising activities organised by the Ryder-Cheshire society and in association with the Canberra Friends of Dili association, which was represented on the evening by Mr Robert Altamore and his wife, Wendy.

Canberra has strong ties with Dili through the Canberra-Dili friendship agreement that was signed by former Chief Minister Stanhope and the Dili district administrator, Mr de Carvalho, in June 2004, and later re-signed by former Chief Minister Gallagher and Dili Secretary of State for Administrative Decentralisation Mr Rosario Cabral. The agreement aims to build friendship and mutual respect between Canberra and Dili, and it is my belief that this agreement has been greatly upheld by the Ryder-Cheshire society in their humanitarian acts in Dili through the Klibur Domin house.

The author of the book, Mr Peter Newton, is also the President of Ryder-Cheshire Australia. Along with their homes in Timor-Leste and northern India, they have similar establishments operating out of Melbourne, Mount Gambier and Singleton. Each of those homes has a different focus, but all are connected through the singular issue of helping those in need.

Mr Newton was in attendance on Friday evening, along with other esteemed guests, including Ms Anna Guterres, the wife of His Excellency Mr Abel Guterres, Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia, who was represented by Natividade Vila Nova, the first secretary at the embassy, on the evening. Also in attendance on the night was His Excellency Mr Paulo Cunha-Alves, Ambassador of Portugal to Australia, who was accompanied by his wife.

I know firsthand just how important projects such as the Klibur Domin house are in countries like Timor-Leste and the support and care they bring to local communities in these areas, as well as the great difference they make to the standard of living in countries such as northern India and Timor-Leste.

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