Balibo House Schools Fundraiser

Mr Quinn, Mr Machin, Ms Mauger and I attended a fundraiser in support for the Balibo House Trust last Thursday 12 March. The Balibo House Trust facilitates the College's Year 9 Leadership Expedition to Timor Leste. The Trust was set up in 2003 by former Premier Steve Bracks and former Member for Bentleigh, Rob Hudson. They were made aware of the deteriorating condition of the house in Balibo at which five Australian journalists were based prior to their deaths while covering the Indonesian invasion of Timor Leste in 1975. Spurred on by Shirley Shackleton - the wife of one of the journalists, Greg Shackleton; the house was purchased and the Trust began.

Since then the Trust has turned the house into a community centre where computer lessons are taught, a women's centre is based and a free dental clinic operates.

The inaugural trip was lead by Mr Quinn and Mr Machin in 2019 and was a resounding success - both for student outcomes and achievements while working in the village of Balibo. The evening was a great success with funds raised going to the Trust's work in continuing education in Timor Leste.

Year 10 student (and member of the inaugural group of students to travel), Alice Connolly spoke superbly on her experience in Timor and what she learnt. Alice more than held her own when speaking in between the former Premier and also the esteemed director of the film, Balibo.

McKinnon looks forward to future trips to Timor, supporting the impressive work of the Balibo House Trust.

Mrs Pitsa Binnion

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