A journey through post-independence Timor-Leste: A personal narrative
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In a country which is severely under-resourced in every profession and where there is lack of infrastructure due to d1e post referendum violence, training is an important task in the reconstruction of Timor-Leste (Hill, 2001). Education and training within the post-conflict reconstruction phase of Timor-Leste has taken many different forms. While there has been much attention given to improving the education opportunities within Timor-Leste, many Australians have also been given a unique cross-cultural education opportunity by offering their skills, expertise and a willingness to learn, through their contribution to the reconstruction effort. An independent Timor-Leste also allowed many nationals who fled the country under the repressive Indonesian regime to return and help with the rebuilding process. This chapter draws these threads together through the personal narrative of a Timorese born man who moved to Australia from Timor-Leste in 1980, and now uses his language skills and connections with his home to help in the reconstruction of the country. His work promotes positive cultural exchange and, as his narrative shows, gives voice to some of those affected by the reconstruction process, or tl1e lack of it.
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