About Friends of Aileu

Friends of Aileu is a joint activity of the Hume City Council and Moreland City Council and their communities, partner organisations and supporters, which fosters their long term friendship relationship with the Municipality and people of Aileu in Timor-Leste (East Timor).

The friendship relationship is supported by the Moreland and Hume City Councils' East Timor Partnership Project and the Friends of Aileu Project Officer.

Hume City Council and Moreland City Council fist established a friendship relationship with the District of Aileu in Timor-Leste in 2000, and have periodically renewed that relationship, signing five-year Friendship Agreements in 2005, 2010 and 2016.

Key aspects of the operation of the friendship relationship are outlined in:

Participating in Friends of Aileu

The friendship relationship with Aileu is open to all, and through the activities of Friends of Aileu, it offers people who live, study or work in or with Moreland and Hume City Councils many opportunities for community participation, learning and development.

These activities include participating in the Friends of Aileu Community Committee, finding out about Timor-Leste and Aileu and the lives of its people, sharing information with others, assisting in fundraising, contributing energy or expertise, identifying partner organisations, and helping develop connections and projects that support the people of Aileu in realising their ambitions for developing their society and livelihoods in a sustainable way.

Importantly the relationship with Aileu also offers opportunities for friendship, through sharing stories, food, music and culture, including with members of the East Timorese community in Australia and with the people of Aileu. There are also opportunities to help host study tour visitors from Aileu or take part in a Friends of Aileu or partner organisation trip to Timor-Leste.

How you can help has more information about participating in Friends of Aileu.

Local government and community friendship relationships

The friendship relationship between Hume, Moreland and Aileu is one of a number of relationships between local governments and communities in Timor-Leste. Some of the other friendship relationships are listed in An Introduction to the Timor-Leste - Australia Friendship Relationships (DOC 5Mb).

The Statement of Principles for Victorian local governments working in East Timor (RTF 9Kb) or Statement of Principles for Victorian local governments working in East Timor (PDF 66Kb) outlines the principles of the friendship relationship.

Friends of Aileu works closely with the other friendship groups active in Aileu District:

You can find out more about other friendship relationships between Australian and Timor-Leste communities from the Australia Timor-Leste Friendship Network.

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding in 2000

At the Maurice Blackburn Oration, delivered by East Timorese leader Xanana Gusmao on 4 May 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding (RTF 5Kb) or Memorandum of Understanding (PDF 43Kb) was signed by Xanana Gusmao with the local governments of Hume and Moreland.

The Friendship Agreement and Strategy Plan

The friendship relationship with Aileu was renewed in 2005 and again 2010, with the signing of Friendship Agreements between the District of Aileu and the Moreland and Hume City Councils, during visits to Melbourne by the District Administrator of Aileu, Mr Martinho Matos.

The current Friendship Agreement 2016 (PDF 969Kb)was signed in Timor-Leste by the Vice-minister for State Administration Mr Tomas do Rosario Cabral, and the Aileu Municipal Administrator, Mr Joao Tilman do Rego, at the Timor-Leste Government's 5th Decentralisation and Local Government Conference held in August 2016.  The Mayors of Moreland and Hume City Councils subsequently signed the new Friendship Agreement in September.

During 2015-16, the Friends of Aileu Community Committee developed an updated Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2020 (PDF 204Kb), which was endorsed by Moreland and Hume City Councils in August 2016.

The strategy and action plans are reviewed periodically with specific actions identified each year.  

Aileu Friendship Relationship Commission

In 2004, the Aileu District Administration formed the Aileu Friendship Relationship Commission to manage the Timor-Leste side of the relationship. The Commission consists of representatives of key government departments working in Aileu and of the local community. The Commission provides advice to Friends of Aileu on community needs and priorities for funding projects.

Aileu's priorities for the friendship relationship

Following a two-day planning workshop in Aileu in 2009, organised by the Aileu Friendship Relationship Commission and attended by over 100 local representatives and members of the Friends of Aileu Community Committee, the Commission established a number of priority areas of improvement for the District of Aileu that were proposed as a focus for future assistance from the Friends of Aileu.

The Aileu Commission's priorities were:

  • organisational capacity and the quality of human resources
  • health standards
  • local produce and access to markets
  • community access to clean water, electricity and communications, and
  • local infrastructure and equipment.

These priorities are periodically reviewed, most recently in June 2016 when the Municipal Administrator provided an updated list of suggested priorities.  As part of the ongoing dialogue underpinning the friendship relationship, these priorities were discussed at the July Friends of Aileu Community Committee meeting.  They were discussed again at the August 2016 municipal-level workshop in Aileu associated with the Decentralisation and Local Government Conference, in which a Friends of Aileu delegation participated.  Further work is ongoing to ensure Aileu's priorities and the Friends of Aileu Strategy Plan remain in alignment and reflect realistic assessments of the interest and resources available amongst Friends of Aileu and its Australian and Timor-Leste partners.

Aileu's transition to responsible local government

Under the Timor-Leste Government's program of decentralisation, the Aileu District  has now been renamed the Municipality of Aileu.

The Aileu Municipal Administration is currently undergoing the transition to municipal government status with enhanced representative responsibilities and service delivery functions. The decentralisation process provides for future elections for a Mayor and a Municipal Assembly.

At the request of the Timor-Leste Government, the Victorian Government is providing assistance during this process of decentralisation.

As part of this program of assistance, the Timor-Leste Ministry of State Administration and Local Government Victoria are:

  • coordinating professional development activities for Timor-Leste civil servants, and
  • facilitating  the partnering of Victorian local governments with the new Timor-Leste municipalities through Municipal Cooperation Agreements.

In 2014 both Moreland City Council and Hume City Council agreed to enter into a cooperation agreement to provide support to Aileu during the decentralisation processes and its transition to responsible local government.

The Municipal Cooperation Agreement Aileu-Moreland (PDF 375Kb) and the Municipal Cooperation Agreement Aileu-Hume (PDF 397Kb) were signed by the respective Mayors of the two Councils in April 2016 during a visit by a Timor-Leste Government Urban Planning delegation, four members of which undertook short work-based training placements with Moreland and Hume. The Agreements were subsequently signed by the Vice-Minister for State Administration at the LGPro Australia Conference held in Brisbane in May 2016.

Aileu now has the status of municipality with the Aileu District Administration having been renamed the Aileu Municipal Administration during 2015. A new Municipal Administrator, Mr Joao Tilman do Rego, and a new Municipal Secretary, Mrs Victoria do Rego, were appointed in January 2016. As part of the progressive process of decentralisation, additional service delivery responsibilities were transferred from the National Government Ministries to the Municipal Administration in October 2016.

Friends of Aileu annual reports

The Friends of Aileu provides an annual report to Moreland and Hume City Councils, which describes the major activities and outcomes for the calendar year and the prospects for the project in the coming year.

Reports of visits to Aileu and Timor-Leste

2015

2014

2013

2012

2010

2009

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