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Friends of Lacluta committee being formed

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Hi Everyone,

Please find below, details of the next Friends of Lacluta (East Timor) meeting. I would appreciate you circulating it to your networks. If you can’t make the meeting but would be interested in finding out further information or being involved in the group and some of its upcoming initiatives please feel free to contact me.

Maz McGann
Rural City of Wangaratta
T : 5722 9065 or 0402 883 387
E :
F : 5722 2969

Local Government in Australia has a long history of support to East Timor and a number of municipalities have established ‘Friendship Relationships’ with East Timorese towns and districts.

These ‘Friendship Relationships’ are long-term commitments based on a community-to-community philosophy that involves many individuals and groups, as well as the councils. These relationships are guided by a ‘Statement of Principles for Local Governments Working in East Timor’, which was signed on 4 May 2000 by the President of East Timor (then the leader of the CNRT) Xanana Gusmão, the Victoria Local Government Minister, the VLGA, and the MAV.

The friendship relationship between the Wangaratta Rural City Council and the sub-District of Lacluta (being part of the District of Viqueque) had its origins in September 2004 following a proposal by Abel Guterres, Consul-General to Australia, at a meeting of Wangaratta Councillors in which he proposed the concept of friendship relationships between Australian and East Timorese communities. This resulted in a request to send an official party from Wangaratta Council to visit Dilor, one of Lacluta’s main ‘sucos’ or towns.

There was a great deal of interest from staff of the Rural City of Wangaratta, and the staff undertook to provide worked up time to allow three staff members to participate in the visit. There was also an undertaking by staff to allow use of some funds held in reserve that were a result of in-house business units equities from the compulsory competitive tendering activities between 1998 and 2001 to defray costs of the visit. A selection process was undertaken and the staff selected were Mr Malcolm Styles (Deputy Chief Executive Officer) to lead the visit, Mr Mike Hillenaar (Information Technology Officer) and Ms Emily Bissland (Stormwater Education Officer). The Mayor of the day, Cr Roberto Paino was the Councillor selected to represent Council.

A friendship agreement was negotiated with the assistance of Mr Abel Guterres.

The delegation visited East Timor between 21 September 2005 and 2 October 2005. There was a signing ceremony held at the Suco of Dilor in the sub-district of Lacluta on 25 September 2005.

In order to ensure that the principles of the Friendship Relationship are maintained, the Charter requires Friends of Lacluta to support and promote:

• Human rights and social justice for all people
• Gender equality
• Sustainable social and economic development
• Good governance and active citizenship
• Community empowerment and civic participation
• Consultation, collaboration and joint agreement on projects

At a community meeting held on 8 February 2006 (after an information and informal meeting held in December 2005) those present requested that Council favourably consider the establishment of a special committee as provided for under Section 86 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Now, it is your turn! Come along, join the committee and get involved.

Written by Greg Naylor

1 May 2006 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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