Our volunteers

Su-Lin Kwa

Board support officer

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I had the privilege of spending a year in East Timor. I was a volunteer Organisational Development Adviser with a local NGO which worked with local communities within the district. I loved my time in Maliana and since my return to Australia have been looking for an opportunity to remain connected with East Timor and its people. Volunteering with ETHF enables me to make a small contribution to an organisation that's making a real difference. 

 

What does your role entail?

I'm responsible for administrative functions of the board activities. I also assist as a patient support volunteer, where I do things like hospital visits. It's great to get a chance to use my Tetun (though it's now somewhat rusty!)  

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Catching up with family and friends, travelling, exploring Melbourne and, most recently, preparing to tackle the Overland Track ... so lots of walking. 

Leon Poggioli

Development subcommittee

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

While completing my MBA in Brisbane, I volunteered for a project with The Terrace Timor Network, a local charity which imports Timorese coffee and uses the profits to fund programs in villages around Gleno. We travelled to East Timor as part of the project, and I saw first hand what opportunity the country had to develop as an independent nation.  

After moving to Melbourne, I searched for local organisations involved with East Timor and found ETHF. I contacted the organisation and applied for the voluntary role of board support officer.

My vision of East Timor in 30 years is a nation with reliable infrastructure, healthy people, and sustainable local industry. I want to help make this happen.

 

What does your role entail?

I'm responsible for administrative functions of the board activities.  I've joined at an exciting time so I'm sure there will be other ways to get involved as our scope expands!

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Being new to Melbourne my wife and I are spending most of our free time exploring everything Victoria has to offer!

Katie McKenzie

Volunteer patient support officer

How and why did you become involved with East Timor Hearts Fund?

I first became involved with Timor in 2009 and wanted to stay connected to projects that support the country. The fact that East Timor Hearts Fund is focused on delivering critical, practical, and specialised support to Timor made me to want to be part of the team. My own family experience with heart surgery also meant that East Timor Hearts Fund was an obvious organisation for me to support, and I joined the team in April 2013.

 

What does your role entail?

As patient support officer I work closely with the patient support coordinator to provide practical assistance to our patients, their families, our support workers and our patient support volunteers. This can include arranging travel and transport, taxis, hospital visits and post-surgery activities for our patients. It’s very satisfying to be a part of the big surge in energy that occurs each time we have a patient arrive for surgery.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

My spare time is mostly made up of gardening, vegan cooking, playing the piano and learning to surf! 

Mat Lynn

Volunteer photographer

Photo by Ashlee Dawson

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I’ve travelled to Timor-Leste to pursue some photography projects, including at Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili and as one of the photographers for the Tour de Timor cycling event. I noticed that I had a few mutual Facebook friends with East Timor Hearts Fund, and thought I would investigate. I could see it was a worthy cause, and I was keen to contribute my photography work to a worthy cause.

 

What does your role entail?

I've just come on board as East Timor Hearts Fund's volunteer official photographer [in May 2013]. I hope to do work with most of the patients when they come to Australia for surgery – stills photography for social media, traditional news media and for East Timor Hearts Fund's publications and newsletters, and hopefully some video/multimedia content as well. It's been a pretty intense start to my role, following patients Arminda and Maria from the airport, through to the operating theatre and recovery. It's great that those photos were published in The Sunday Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. I hope to continue providing media that raises public awareness about the work of East Timor Hearts Fund and the health problems people in Timor-Leste face.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a freelance photographer. I work for local newspapers and pick up the occasional corporate job here and there. Otherwise, I am a bit of news junkie, and when I can afford the time, I try to solve the world's problems over a beer with my friends.

 

Check out more of Mat’s work at www.matlynn.com.au

See his Fairfax Media photo essay on patients Arminda and Maria

 

Inacio Carvalho

Patient support volunteer

How did you become involved with East Timor Hearts Fund?

I first became aware of East Timor Hearts Fund in 2010. After learning more about the amazing work that ETHF was doing in Timor-Leste I decided that I wanted to volunteer and contribute my spare time to this incredible charity that is making a big impact on Timorese people's lives. In 2014 I had a big open heart surgery. I can always share my experiences with the patients. I can relate to their stories when they tell me that they feel breathless, tired and have pain in the chest.

 

What does your role entail?

As a patient support volunteer my duties include things like welcoming the patients at the airport, cooking Timorese meals, hospital visits, shopping, sightseeing and interpreting etc. Basically I help make the patients feel at 'home' away from home.

 

What do you do on your spare time?

I like cooking, spending time with my family, watching soccer and listening to Timorese music.

Jorge de Araujo

Volunteer photographer

Jorge de Araujo

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I was born in Timor-Leste and I regularly donate my time and photos to Timorese causes in Melbourne. When the opportunity came to be involved with East Timor Hearts Fund on a regular basis I didn’t hesitate. I’m not saving the world with photography but what I can do is support an organisation  that makes a difference to the lives of many Timorese.

 

What does your role entail?

I joined East Timor Hearts Fund in May 2014 and I look forward to covering events, projects and stories that support its work. I love telling stories with my images and the stories of ETHF patients are definitely the ones worth telling.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Don’t much of that nowadays. :)

 

See more of Jorge's work at www.jdaphoto.com