Home' My Ballarat : September 2009 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine September 2009
Shooting hoops in Ainaro
Council has been supporting community development in the East Timor
district of Ainaro since July 2005. A Special Committee of Council is
responsible for administrating, managing and developing the Ballarat-
Ainaro Friendship. There have been some significant achievements in the
past 12 months, thanks to the work of Australian Volunteers International
placement Kate Owen.
Kate began an 18 month Australian Volunteers International placement
in Ainaro in July 2008. Using a combination of her community
development skills, cultural expertise and Council's Ainaro Small Grants
program she's been able to implement the following projects:
• Mothers' support group education program
• Hametin Ita Rai agricultural project
• Support for Ainaro Kindergarden
• Provision of video camera for Fitun Ba Labarik youth drama group
• Purchase of storage equipment, printer and materials for
Ainaro Health Clinic
• Vulnerable Persons Unit (Ainaro Police) protection program
• Installation of solar power panel in remote health clinic
• Provision of scholarships to students
• Basketball/volleyball court rehabilitation project
Kate has faced a range of challenges while trying to complete these
projects. Communication is often slow, haphazard and has sometimes
impeded positive outcomes. The language, differing priorities and
diversity of skills made initial negotiations and planning very difficult, but
in 12 months Kate has managed to win the support, respect and co-
operation of her East Timorese peers, colleagues, Local Government and
the Ainaro Community.
These initiatives build capacity and advance the self-sufficiency of the
people of Ainaro, and are consistent with the principals of environmental,
social and cultural sustainability.
The Ballarat Basketball Association is playing a significant role in improving
basketball facilities in Ainaro. Last year Kate approached the Association
to see if it could supply some basketballs and uniforms for players in
Ainaro. When Ballarat Basketball found out a new court was being built in
Ainaro it contacted Western Australian company Ringleader Pty Ltd which
agreed to supply a pair of basketball posts, rings and backboards for the
Ballarat Basketball's CEO, Peter Eddy said unless the court was fitted with
new and durable rings and backboards the work to upgrade the court
could fail to attract more players as interest would quickly wane as the old
equipment continued to deteriorate.
Ballarat Basketball has been in touch with FIBA Asia, the governing body
for basketball in the region, and hopes to be able to fast track
development programs for the sport in East Timor and especially in Ainaro.
For further information about the Ballarat--Ainaro friendship contact
Council's Cultural Partnerships Officer Liz Wood on 5320 5831.
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