Rotary Brighton North is part of a District 9800 consortium supporting installation of toilets and water tanks in schools in Timor Leste.


Greetings Fellow Consortium Members and Supporters,
Whilst little actual construction work has taken place since our last Update in October last year, due to it being the Wet Season in Timor Leste, much planning has occurred and we can report that ten (10) new locations have been identified for 5,500Ltr Galvanised Water Tanks and that these have been ordered and paid for from Timor Roofing and Training in Baucau.
Due to shipping delays and a shortage of material from Blue Scope Steel in Australiia, these Water Tanks are not expected to be ready for delivery until June this year.
In the meantime, quotations have been accepted for four (4) more three cubicle school and community Toilet Buildings, three in the Baguia region and one at Saibada in the neighbouring district of Manatuto. As with other recent Toilet Buildings these will be constructed entirely by local villagers using skills acquired from previous construction work.
In our last Update (copy enclosed) we provided a new Post Covid budget for 20 Water Tanks and 10 new Toilet Buildings and advised of the need to raise an additional AUD $95,000.
Since then, I am pleased to advise that we have received payment of an AUD $6,000 Rotary District 9800 Grant and have received AUD $ $16,500 from other Rotary Clubs and generous individuals.
The District 9800 Grants Committee is most supportive of our efforts in Timor Leste which are now too large for any further District Grants but they have encouraged us to apply for a Global Grant from Rotary Internatinal in the United States and we are now investigating how best to go about this.
Bruce Hurley from the Lakes Entrance Rotary Club has formed the East Gippsland Friends of Timor Leste (EGFTL) and this group is keen to support projects in the Baguia and Manatuto regions of Timor Leste.
However, this still leaves us with a budget shortfall of AUD $72,500 at present and we are appealing particularly to Rotary Clubs to pass this Fundraising Appeal on to their incoming International Chairpersons and Club Presidents for their consideration when drawing up their Club Budgets for the 2023-2024 Rotary year. 
To this end we are appealing to Consortium Members to renew their previous financial contributions by making fresh donations to the Project's Special Account in the name of the "Timor Rotary Consortium" at the Bendigo Bank BSB 633-000 Account No. 162587430 or to RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) Project No. 8-2020-21 where donations become Tax Deductile
We take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for your past support and hope that this will continue this coming year for this most worthwhile Project.
We also take the opportunity to advise a change in our roles of Project Manager and Deputy Project Manager as shown below.
Vijay Susarla
Project Manager
0410 619 323
John Walmsley
Deputy Project manager
0412 516 445


Greetings Consortium Members and Supporters,
On the 21st March this year we received advice from RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) that all travel by RAWCS Project Volunteer Teams remains suspended until further notice, presumably because they are not able to obtain international Travel Insurance due to Covid 19.
Since it is RACWS that provides Accident and Sickness insurance for Volunteers travelling to work on Rotary projects overseas we are unable to say when we might next be able to visit Timor Leste.
On a slightly brighter note we are able to report that the East Timor Roofing Co has finally received its long awaited delivery of steel from BlueScope Steel in Australia and that they have been able to complete manufacture and delivery of the ten (10) 5,500Ltr galvanised Water Tanks that comprised Stage 2 of our project
We understand that these have all been installed on Tank Stands by locals and we enclose some photos and videos of villagers carrying one of thse 5,500Ltr Water Tanks up to a remote location.
Progress has been slow on the Stage 3 construction of the three School Toilets and we are not certain when these will be completed. 
No further payments have been made since our last Report on the 17th December and funds on hand presently stand as follows:-
  • Bendigo Bank Special Project Account               $15,286.15  (includes Bank Interest of $2.53)
  • RAWCS Project Account Number 8 2020-21     $24,012.59  ($24,690 less RAWCS charges of $677.41)
We do however have payments to make in respect Stage 3 and are awaiting Invoices and Receipts from our in country co-ordinator and Rotary Passport Club Member, Ms Leopoldina Gutteres, in regard to these but we are confident that we are within budget financially.
As mentioned previously, we also have a Rotary District 9800 (Victoria) Internationaal Grant of $6,000 to be claimed against future expenditure taking total funds available for the Project to AUD $45,298.74. 
We are obviously disappointed at the impact that Covid 19 has had on the Project and the delays that have been caused by shortage of matreials and travel restrictions inside Timor Leste but we are confident that good progress can be made again once these difficulties are overcome.
It is unlikely that we will be able to advance the project much further without another Rotary Team visit and whilst we don't know when this will occur, we would still appreciate expressions of interest form anyone who would like to participate in a Team Visit.
John Walmsley 
Project Manager



Greetings Fellow Consortium Members and Supporters,


Further to our last Update on  we are now able to report that a very successful visit to Timor-Leste has been completed on behalf of the Consortium to view the progress made over the past two years on this Project. 

Our small Team comprising John Walmsley and Justine Paragreen from the RC of Camberwell left Melbourne at 6.00am on Friday 30th September and arrived in Dili mid-afternoon. We were met by Mario De Jesus from Rotary's Dili office, who helped to purchase local SIM Cards and then drove us to EDS from whom we had arranged to hire a vehicle from the following day. We then went on to Vinod Patels which is a large hardware supplier to check and pay for goods and other materials that we had pre-ordered before being dropped off at our accommodation at a Dive Centre on the Dili waterfront. 

The following morning, we were picked up by our driver in a Toyota 4x4 Troopie, after which we returned to Vinod Patels to collect our various supplies before taking the coast road to the major city of Baucau, which is approximately 160km east of Dili. This road used to be in very poor condition but has recently undergone major reconstruction by the Chinese and is now a well-constructed 2 lane highway which halves the journey time. We stopped briefly in Baucau for lunch and then headed to Baguia which is only around 60km away but takes over 2 hours to reach due to the road being extremely rough in parts and basically a 4-wheel drive track for most of its length, with many dubious bridge crossings.

On arrival in Baguia we were met by Ms Leopoldina Guterres who is our principal in country coordinator and also a member of the Rotary Passport Club of Melbourne. "Mana Leo" as she is known throughout the district is an extraordinary woman who apart from being the principal of the St Joseph's High School is a director of 8 regional Primary Schools and is deeply involved in many other major Rotary and non-Rotary programs. She had arranged accommodation for us in a renovated Portuguese Fort that provides food and clean accommodation. 

The next 3 days were spent visiting vehicle accessible locations where Water Tanks and Toilets had been constructed over the past 2 years by local villagers using their own labour and with our Consortium paying for materials such as sand, cement and galvanised Water Tanks etc.

During our time in Baguia we visited many villages including the very remote village of Loiulu in the Viqueque region south of Baguia where we were given an extremely warn reception by the community which included much singing and dancing and a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open their new school Toilet. This was quite an emotional experience and a demonstration of the gratitude of the community for their new Toilet and Water Tank.

At the community of Rabilai, a polypipe had been laid from a spring to the Water Tank but approval from the local Water Authority was awaited before the connection could be made. Only one toilet cubicle had been completed but the local Police Commandant, on whose land the Toilet and Water Tank are positioned, advised that the other two toilet cubicles would be completed as soon as the connection of the Water Tank had been approved by the local Water Authority.

All the other Toilets and Water tanks that we inspected had been well constructed with the community Toilet in Bubuha even having a tiled floor. 

During the 3 days that we spent with Leo Guterres visiting schools and communities in the region, numerous other welcomes were received, and notes taken of suitable locations for new Water Tanks and Toilets as well of any repairs needed to existing pipes and taps etc. A change in the weather at the end of our third day in Baguia caused us to return to Dili one day earlier than originally planned to avoid being trapped by heavy rain as the Wet Season was beginning and because we had a long list of Project purchases that could only be obtained in Dili.

These included things such as plumbing fittings, polypipe and blocks of soap for use in connection with the ongoing WASH (Clean Water & Hygiene) program which is part of the Consortium's activities as well as other non-Consortium purchases such as boxes of A4 Paper for use in upcoming school examinations. The decision to return early to Dili was vindicated by the fact that it took us the whole of Thursday using our hired vehicle and driver to complete these purchases and to leave them with Judite Mar Martins, Rotary's Dili office manager, who kindly agreed to arrange transport of them to Baguia after our return to Melbourne on the 7th October. 


Due to Covid 19, this was the Consortium's first Team Visit for nearly 3 years and it was very pleasing to see how well Water Tanks and Toilets had been installed and constructed entirely by local villagers using skills imparted to them by previous Rotary Volunteers. 

Local communities and schools have willingly provided the labour required to complete the construction of Toilets and Water Tank Stands and our role has increasingly become that of a Facilitator, along with "hands-on" activities for any visiting Rotary volunteers who would like to participate in the construction activities.

As previously mentioned, the main purpose of this visit was to view some of the 20 Water Tank installations completed under Stages 1 and 2 as well as to see how far the Stage 3 construction of 3 Toilet Buildings had progressed.

The second purpose of the visit was to locate sites where more Water Tanks could be installed and where more Toilets could be built using local labour and materials. 

Because there is an enormous continuing need for Clean Water, Toilets and Hygiene Training in the area served by this Project it has been decided to drawn up a new Post Covid budget for the installation of 20 more Water Tanks and 10 new Toilets each with 3 cubicles. 

At current exchange rates the cost of this new Post Covid Budget is as follows:-

  • 20 Water Tanks at AUD $3,000 each equals              $60,000
  • 10 Toilet Buildings at AUD $5,500 each equals        $55,000
  • Consumables for Tanks & Toilets                                $2,000
  • Transportation and Driver hire                                    $5,000                                   
  • 10 x WASH Trainings for School Toilets                     $5,000
  • Miscellaneous Items                                                     $3,000
  •                          Total Post Covid Budget equals     $130,000 


As we have AUD $35,000 remaining from the Pre-Covid Budget the requirement is for new funding of  $95,000.

We therefore appeal to all Consortium Members and Supporters to renew their previous Pre-Covid donations with new Post-Covid donations for the 2022-23 financial year so that we can reach the above target and deliver 20 new Water Tanks, 10 Toilets and WASH Training to the very needy and appreciative people of this remote eastern region of Timor Leste.

Donations of any amount will be gratefully received and Individuals, Schools &/or Clubs are also welcome to sponsor:-
  • $3,000 Water Tank 
  • $5,500 Toilet
and to have their sponsorship recognised by a small plaque on the Tank or Toilet.

Donations should be made to the Project's Special Account in the name of the 

  • "Timor Rotary Consortium" at the Bendigo Bank BSB 633-000 Acct No. 162587430 or to 
  • RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) Account No. 4-2010 where donations become Tax Deductible.

We hope that you will be able to continue your support of this most worthwhile project which generates considerable International Goodwill and Understanding. Rotary Team members would be delighted to come and present at your upcoming Club meetings on the Project and the recent trip.

Rotarians are asked to please pass this Timor Rotary Consortium Update on to their International Committee Chairs and also to their Club Bulletin Editors who are welcome to make use of any or all of this Update.

If you have any questions or would contemplate participating in a "hands on" Toilet building project visit to Timor Leste around August/September 2023, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

John Walmsley Project Manager     Vijay Susarla Deputy Project Manager