2018 news

New board appointments strengthen oversight and health project delivery

New board appointments strengthen oversight and health project delivery

26 April 2019

The addition of five new directors to the board of East Timor Hearts Fund will help support the ongoing  expansion of the organisation’s work in areas such as preventative health and community and heath practitioner education.

The new directors have skills in clinical practice and research, business strategy, marketing and law. They were elected at a meeting this month, following a rigorous recruitment and selection process.

Board chair Ingrid Svendsen said the appointments came at a pivotal time, as the organisation continued its transition from its origins as a small-scale charity focussed on providing surgery in Australia.

“As we build on our proud foundation work of providing surgery for individual patients, in the coming years we will continue to expand our role in supporting systemic public health solutions and the growth of in-country capacity to tackle local health challenges in Timor-Leste,” Ms Svendsen said.

“This will include offering  more surgery in Timor-Leste, including for the first time, open heart surgery. This is a more cost-effective option, and also allows us to support the development of the local systems and skills that Timor-Leste needs.

“Our board is now better placed than ever to provide governance oversight to manage risk and support the effective delivery of these more complex projects and services.”

The new appointees are:

Professor Andrea Driscoll Andrea is a heart failure nurse practitioner at Austin Health, a heart failure nurse consultant to the Alfred Hospital and a Professor of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University. She has received an Excellence in Clinical Practice lifetime achievement award from the American Heart Association.

Belinda McDonald Belinda is a change management professional with ANZ bank and is a member of the Victorian Government’s Cardiac Clinical Network.

Dr Ari Horton Ari is a peadiatric cardiologist and clinical researcher at Monash Heart, Monash Children’s Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital. Ari is an active volunteer with East Timor Hearts Fund and an educator at Monash University.

David Mayne David is the former board chair of a major community banking organisation. He has an extensive association with Timor-Leste and has competed in the gruelling Tour de Timor mountain bike event and the Trans-Timor Trek.

David Thomas David is a lawyer and experienced company secretary with a publicly listed company. He has expertise in corporate governance, risk management and commercial strategy.

Other volunteer board members are co-founder and board chair Ingrid Svendsen, Katrina Thurston (finance and audit committee chair), Vijaya Joshi (development committee chair), Nicki Patten (nomination and remuneration committee chair and company secretary), Nick Oats and Bill Appleby.

Professor Driscoll will become the new chair of the board clinical governance committee.

Ms Svendsen thanked all applicants and said that the high calibre of candidates made the selection task very challenging.

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The greatest gift - a special message from our CEO


The greatest gift: a special message from our CEO

Dear friends,

Thank you for the greatest Christmas gift!

We are so humbled and thrilled by the support for our Every Heart, Everywhere campaign for remote heart health in Timor-Leste.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters we raised just over $27,000 in public donations online, in just 20 days! And because a kind supporter has matched all public donations received before midnight on Christmas Eve, that puts the total at an amazing $54,000!

This means that, as well as remote heart health missions and preventative health and education, we’ll be able to expand our life-saving penicillin program. We'll be able to identify more at-risk young people and provide monthly penicillin shots to stop their heart disease from progressing.

Please sign up for our enews for updates on the Every Heart Everywhere campaign, as we’ll be sharing some exciting news in the new year!

We wish all of our supporters a safe and joyous festive season.


Stuart Thomson,

CEO, East Timor Hearts Fund

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We did it! Thank you for helping Every Heart, Everywhere

We did it!

A special message from our CEO

Dear friends,

Eighteen days ago we asked our supporters to help us raise $25,000 by Christmas Eve for better heart health for people in remote districts in Timor-Leste.

The response has been truly incredible.

Today we achieved our target – two days ahead of schedule!

We’ve now raised $25,000 in public donations online, so we’ll be sending our medical volunteers to some of the most rugged and isolated corners of Timor-Leste in 2019. We will deliver on our goal of providing heart screening for more than 300 people from remote areas next year, as well as education and preventative health programs, and follow up care for those who need it.

Donations from generous supporters are still flowing in to our campaign page. Our campaign has inspired so many people!

We don’t want to cut off the goodwill of people who passionately want to make a difference for our neighbours in Timor-Leste. So we’ve decided to leave the appeal open, and let it run until its original end date of midnight on 24 December.

Any extra funds raised will allow us to expand our life-saving penicillin program in remote areas. We will be able to identify more at-risk young people and provide monthly penicillin shots to stop their heart disease from progressing. We’ll also deliver heart health education for patients and health workers.

All of us at East Timor Hearts Fund are truly thrilled by the commitment of so many people to better heart health for our friends and neighbours in Timor-Leste.

Thank you for supporting Every Heart, Everywhere


Stuart Thomson,


East Timor Hearts Fund


PS: Don’t forget that our generous supporter is still matching all donations received before midnight on Christmas Eve, so we can double our impact! Please let your family, colleagues and friends know that they can still donate.

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First in best dressed - thanks Beleza Group!

We’re so grateful to our friend Beleza School Uniforms for its incredibly generous $3500 donation to our Every Heart Everywhere campaign. Thanks to friends like Beleza Group we’re very confident that our volunteer medical team will heading to some of the most isolated and remote parts of Timor-Leste in 2019. Our CEO Stuart Thomson popped in to personally thank chairman Ken Leongue and CEO Monica Leongue.

Thanks Beleza Group!

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Two words to look great - thanks Struck & Spink!

When people ask us "Why do you always look so good East Timor Hearts Fund" we have a two word reply - Struck & Spink. The brand and communication agency and its design gurus have been making us look professional, inviting, fun and engaging since 2010, most recently with our Every Heart, Everywhere campaign.

The most amazing thing is that these wonderful folks have always worked pro bono. So that we can dedicate our resources to mending broken hearts, Struck & Spink has donated services valued at thousands of dollars. Or priceless, depending on how you look at it.

So if you want to look as good as we do, give Struck & Spink a call. And say East Timor Hearts Fund sent you!



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