Sydney Rotary club supports health in Timor-Leste

14 May 2013

The painting was done by Xanana Gusmão while he was imprisoned in Jakarta in the 1990s.
The painting was done by Xanana Gusmão while he was imprisoned in Jakarta in the 1990s.

A painting by His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, will be displayed at a fundraising dinner at Government House on Thursday 16 May, with proceeds from dinner ticket sales supporting the University of Sydney's Timor-Leste Health Fund.

The painting, donated by Sydney Rotary Club, was completed by Gusmão while he was imprisoned in Cipinang Prison in Jakarta in the 1990s.

The Timor-Leste Health Fund is supported by His Excellency Dr José Ramos-Horta, the immediate past President of Timor-Leste and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who is Vice Patron and Ambassador for the Fund.

The painting was a birthday gift to Dr Ramos-Horta in 1994 and has a dedication to him on the back from Xanana Gusmão.

The Rotary Club of Sydney and the Timor-Leste Health Fund have decided not to sell the painting as it clearly has significant historical and emotional value to the people of Timor-Leste.

The Rotary Club of Sydney has been touring the painting to promote awareness of the plight of the Timorese people and the critical need for the services and development this project will offer.

The painting will be donated to the people of Timor-Leste in perpetuity and sent back to Dili later in the year.

The Rotary Club of Sydney will be hosting the black tie dinner on 16 May at Government House, Sydney, which will also feature an auction, including the sale of three very valuable watches donated by Dr Ramos-Horta.

The University's Timor-Leste Health Fund is an important University project aimed at improving the health of people in Timor-Leste and developing their capacity to treat disease.

One of the project's key goals is to eliminate two debilitating parasitic diseases (lymphatic filariasis and intestinal worms), which have reached endemic levels across the country and are particularly prevalent in young children.

The painting will be on display at Government House on 16 May with tickets for this event still available for purchase.

To find out more about how you can help support this project, contact James Allen (0411 141 552) or Annette Delaney (0413 080 790).

About the Rotary Club of Sydney: The Club is the oldest Rotary Club in NSW having been established in 1921. It has a long history of supporting significant local, national and international community projects.

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