Office of Global Health Welcomes Timor's Health Leaders

14 July 2009

A group of Timor-Leste's leading health care representatives have received an Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF) and will complete the Health Leaders Fellowship Program, an initiative of the University of Sydney.

The seven Fellows were selected via an application and interview process which identified them as Timor-Leste's current, future and potential leaders in health care, health education, health policy and health management.

"The Timor-Leste Health Leaders Program is a 6 -12 week program designed to provide Fellows with practical and hands-on experience,' said Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake, Manager International Relations at Sydney Medical School's Office for Global Health.

"The emphasis with this program is to build in-country capacity so, with that in mind, each individual Fellow has a specific program designed for him or her to ensure they are placed in relevant institutions and organisations."

"We want to make sure they have practical placements so that they can learn methods, theories, techniques and approaches that can be implemented in Timor and which they can then use to train and lead others when they return home," she said.

Five of the seven Fellows have already completed the Leaders Program in Australia and according to Dilhani the feedback has been very positive.

Ms Manuel Peirera, Chief of Staff for the Minister of Health in Timor, completed her 12-week program at the Office for the Minister for Health in NSW, as well as at the Department of Health.

"I believe that by the end of my training I have been able to achieve what I have been dreaming of, which is to be a good Chief of Staff who has great skills to manage the ministerial office in an efficient and effective manner," said Ms Peirera.

"Once I return to my home land, I will do my best to implement what I have learned in Australia in order to perform well and speed up the procedures in the Minister's Office," she said.

Dr Lucio F Babo Soares, a senior dentist with a focus in community dentistry and management completed his 12-week program in Indigenous community and dental services in Walgett and Dubbo, and also met with dentistry research groups.

"I believe that the particular activities I have completed during this Fellowship have made a huge contribution in upgrading my kills and knowledge as a dentist. I will use them to develop the health system and services in my own country," said Dr Soares.

The Office for Global Health runs a number of outreach and capacity building initiatives in Timor-Leste.

For more information go to

Contact: Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake

Phone: 02 9351 6942

Email: 2c6b160e393c034b0728202f113c0f2c41201106630a0f075f152f