Conference to focus on nation-building in Timor-Leste 


Nation-building in Timor-Leste will be the topic of an international conference to be held in the capital, Dili, in early July.

Entitled “Nation-Building in Urban and Rural Timor-Leste: Gender, Justice, Peace and Security, Development and Governance”, the conference will bring together researchers and practitioners from Timor-Leste, Australia and elsewhere.

Research Associate with Charles Darwin University’s School of Creative Arts and Humanities, Dr Steven Farram said the three-day conference would provide a critical opportunity for East Timorese to reflect on the nation-building process.

“The organisers have placed special emphasis on East Timorese participation in the conference, which will provide opportunities to further develop research capacity and intellectual culture within East Timorese organisations,” Dr Farram said.

“The conference will also supply East Timorese participants with training, mentoring and practical experience in presenting ideas publicly.”

The conference, which runs from 8 July to 10 July, is being organised by the Timor-Leste NGO Forum, RMIT University and Australian Volunteers International, with assistance from Caritas Australia and CDU.

Dr Farram will attend the conference with other CDU staff members, Associate Professors Dennis Shoesmith and David Mearns, who together also organised a successful symposium on current Timor-Leste issues held in Darwin in November 2006 and a similarly themed international conference in February 2008.

Funding for the conference has come from various sources, with the CDU participants being responsible for securing funding for transport and accommodation from the ARC-Asia Pacific Futures Research Network and six free-of-charge return tickets Darwin-Dili from Airnorth.

“The organisers are most grateful for this generous support,” Dr Farram said.