Event Details


In person event, to be available later on AIIA youtube


Twenty five years ago, Timor Leste voted for independence from Indonesia. After a bloody separation and complete destruction of most of the country, Timor Leste has rebuilt itself and established its position on the international stage as a country that is moving forward.

Australia and Timor Leste enjoy a very strong relationship on many fronts . One of the success stories is the East Timor Eye program which, after 24 years has allowed the country to become reasonably self sufficient in eye care . The rates of visual impairment have come down from 7.7% to 2.9% and continue to improve as more capability is being added in the sector. The East Timor Eye Program is coordinated from Hobart by Dr Dr Nitin Verma. Following the good outcome of this program, attention is now moving on to the South Pacific which is home to 12.3 million people and where the rates of blindness are amongst the highest in the world . Not only are we are working with the respective Governments in the Pacific to address this alarming problem, we have been successful in getting a large part of the global eye care fraternity to focus on this region and join the crusade.

Many other nation building initiatives have emerged from the Timor-Tasmania relationship in the government, agriculture, aquaculture, education and other areas. The large number or Timorese taking part in the ANZAC day parade in Hobart and the regular visits by the Ambassador and high ranking Timor Leste Government officials to our island state bear testimony to this relationship.

All these soft diplomacy initiatives based on person to person relationships go a long way in allowing ordinary citizens to utilise their professional skills to play a very important part in stabilizing inter country relationships in these very uncertain and turbulent times.

The second speaker is Mr Richard Warner about The Crawford Fund and Timor Leste. The Crawford Fund raises the awareness of the benefits, for both Australia and developing countries of investment and involvement in food security and food nutrition. Mr Warner will highlight Crawford Fund activities in Timor Leste particularly projects involving Tasmanian involvement.

Jun 26, 2024

17:30 - 19:00 GMT+10

Add to Calendar

Law Faculty, Univ of Tasmania
Hobart, tasmania, Australia
Show on map


  • Nitin Verma A.M. (Honorary Consul for Timor Leste in Tasmania Dean of the Consular Corps in Tasmania and Timor Leste)

    Nitin Verma A.M.

    Honorary Consul for Timor Leste in Tasmania Dean of the Consular Corps in Tasmania and Timor Leste

    Read Bio
  • Richard Warner (Chair of the Tasmanian Committee of the Crawford Fund)

    Richard Warner

    Chair of the Tasmanian Committee of the Crawford Fund

    Read Bio