Timor-Leste scholars graduate
Sydney Medical School congratulates Noeno Anuno Sarmento and Diana Vieira, the first scholarship students from Timor-Leste to graduate from the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Sydney.
At the recent graduation ceremony, the students were personally congratulated by Mr Abel Guterres, the Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia, who attended the ceremony.
Noeno said: “I am so thrilled to have graduated; I have always wanted to be a medical doctor. I am thankful and proud to be associated with the University of Sydney because of the opportunity they have given me through its Timor-Leste’s medical scholarship. I received so much support from staff at University of Sydney Northern clinical school. Also friends and local Timorese were instrumental in helping me through the training.
“I will be going home soon and I am looking forward to providing a different experience of health care to my countrymen. I am excited to share my knowledge as well as learning from the other Timorese medical doctors most of whom were trained in Cuba, Indonesia and elsewhere.”
Noeno and Diana were the first students from Timor-Leste to arrive at the University of Sydney under a scholarship program introduced by the Faculty of Medicine in 2008. The scholarships covered all their fees, living expenses and other costs for up to five years as they take part in the graduate medical program.
Diana said: “My journey has been challenging yet a very positive, life changing experience. The extraordinary help and support from the University's Faculty of Medicine and the many friendships I've made has been what’s really helped me along the way. Without their help this achievement would not have been possible.
“Based on my experience at Sydney University, I’m sure that I am getting world-class education by the best teachers, and I’ll be well prepared in my career. I'm confident that upon completing any degree here that work and research opportunities will be plenty for everyone.
“I look forward to returning to Timor-Leste with my family and applying my new medical skills. I’m particularly interested in using my medical skills to help reduce the very high maternal child death rates in Timor Leste. I believe if I am to make any contribution to Timor-Leste, it would be in the area of health.”
The scholarship initiative was the idea of the Dean of Medicine, Bruce Robinson, who felt the University should make a tangible contribution to the health of people in Timor-Leste. Professor Robinson said: "The University has an important role to play in building capacity in Timor-Leste, a country that has come through very difficult times in recent years."
“I congratulate Noeno and Diana on their graduation. It is a great achievement and I look forward to seeing them take the next step in their careers back in their home country.”