Our Patrons and Ambassadors

Our patrons

His Excellency Xanana Gusmão

A message from our Patron Xanana Gusmão

East Timor Hearts Fund is playing a crucial role in supporting health care in Timor-Leste by identifying and treating young people with life-threatening heart disease.

These young people often have no other options to access this life-saving treatment.

East Timor Hearts Fund's founder and honorary medical adviser, Dr Noel Bayley, has been working in partnership with the Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili and undertaking free work in Timor-Leste since 2000. Since he informally established East Timor Hearts Fund in 2010 it has assisted many young heart patients. All are now doing well and are able to contribute to their communities, families and country.

Health is a major priority for the Government of Timor-Leste and I know that the time will come when my young nation is able to provide specialist cardiac care on its own soil. Until then, however, East Timor Hearts Fund is helping to bridge the gap by offering treatment and supporting the development of greater expertise in Timor-Leste.  It is a great example of compassion, friendship and effective action by Australian people to assist their neighbour.

I commend the East Timor Hearts Fund to you. I am proud to be a patron of this organisation and I hope you will also support and encourage its important work.

His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

Former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste 

His Excellency General, the Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

A message from our Patron Sir Peter Cosgrove

I am very proud to support the work of East Timor Hearts Fund.

Timor-Leste is a cause that is close to my heart. In 1999-2000 I commanded the International Task Force East Timor, which played a central role in this emerging nation’s transition to independence. I have taken a keen interest in our neighbour’s development since.

As someone who has seen a key moment in the struggle for independence in Timor-Leste first-hand, I am particularly impressed with the ethos of East Timor Hearts Fund. The Fund is delivering critical care for patients who need it today, while also working collaboratively with local people and institutions to support the development of a strong health system for the people of Timor-Leste for tomorrow.

East Timor Hearts Fund’s work is immeasurably important.

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia


Our ambassadors

Anche Cabral

Too many young Timorese, especially young women and girls, suffer from heart disease. I want to contribute to help them, because I knew how hard it is to be them and how hard it is for their families.

My sister Juliana had rheumatic fever, and it damaged her heart. She was so sick and weak. She couldn’t eat and struggled to walk to school.

My sister was lucky. She got to have surgery in Australia. After the operation, it was like magic. My parents could not believe the change. She finished high school and studied finance in America.

Now she works for DFAT as a business adviser and lives a normal, healthy life.

I want more young people to have that opportunity. I want to use my profile as a sportswoman to tell people about avoiding rheumatic heart disease, and how organisations like East Timor

Hearts Fund can help.

Sport is so important to me. I was the first Timorese female to do the Tour de Timor cycle race, and the first Timorese to win International Category in 2013. I was the first Timorese cyclist to compete in the Olympics and was honoured to bear the Timorese flag at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Being fit and strong lets me live my life positively, think positively and perform at my best. Everyone deserves a healthy heart, and a healthy life.

Anche Cabral

Olympian, champion cyclist

Lin Jong

As a professional athlete, good health is my life.

It’s easy to take health and medical services for granted when you’ve been fortunate enough to be born in one of the luckiest countries on the planet.

But I know not everyone is so lucky.

My dad Vitor was born in East Timor. He fled when he was only 18, to escape the civil war there.

East Timor now has its independence, and things are improving all the time. But there are still many people, including young people with heart disease, who can’t get the medical help they need.

I’m proud to be an ambassador for East Timor Hearts Fund. I’ve met lots of the young patients, and seen how life-changing heart surgery has been for them. Having a kick with 13-year-old Paulo after his heart operation, seeing a kid who was so sick able to run and chase the ball – that changed my life too.

I’m committed to supporting the amazing work of East Timor Hearts Fund. Please check out the website to see how we can mend more broken hearts together.

Lin Jong

Western Bulldogs