AFUW-NT extends scholarship program to East Timor 

In front Helen Haritos. At rear Irene Pereira Santos (scholarship recipient), Jorgita Ferriera (scholarship recipient), Dr Wurm and Dr Benjamim de Araujo e Corte-Real, Rector Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae

Senora Yuliaty Brito, Senor Marcolino Estevao Fernandes e Brito and Helen Haritos at the faculty of Agriculture laboratory, Hera, just outside of Dili

AFUW-NT is a small women’s group of Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff, alumni members, current students and other women who have an interest in supporting education for women. AFUW-NT has extended its scholarship program to include women studying at Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae (UNTL).

In March 2006, Helen Haritos (Vice President) and Penny Wurm (President) travelled to Dili for the inaugural presentation of scholarships to two women studying in the Faculty of Agriculture. The presentation ceremony was attended by the UNTL Rector, Dr Benjamim de Araujo e Corte-Real, and staff from the Faculty of Agriculture. But the stars of the occasion were the scholarship recipients Jorgita Ferriera (from Los Palos) and Irene Pereira Santos (from Bobonaro).

The whole event was made possible by the links formed by CDU’s School of Science and Primary Industries researcher and lecturer, Tania Paul, who coordinated an ACIAR-funded project to re-build the Faculty of Agriculture after independence. The collaborations formed by Tania during this project enabled this new link to develop. The scholarship selection panel included Tania and six women colleagues from the Faculty of Agriculture.

In his welcome speech, Dr de Araujo e Corte-Real emphasised the need to support women in particular who are under-represented in academia and other organisations in East Timor and noted that the same afternoon he was attending a UN-sponsored meeting on the status of women.

In the coming year AFUW-NT hopes to expand its scholarship program by seeking regular donors. AFUW-NT also raises funds by providing a team of volunteers to assist with gowning at CDU graduations.

AFUW-NT is a member of the Federal Council of the Australian Federation of University Women Inc (AFUW Inc). AFUW Inc joined the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) in 1924. IFUW has NGO status with the United Nations, and is a voice for graduate women, promoting the advancement of women worldwide and their equality of opportunity through initiatives in education, welfare, friendship, the environment and peace.

If you would like to know more about AFUW-NT visit our website.

If you are interested in joining AFUW-NT or assisting with our scholarship program visit our website, contact 08 8946 6355 (BH), or email the President, Penny Wurm, Vice President, Helen Haritos, or Secretary, Christine Silvester.