Volunteers need help for radio work in Timor-Leste

Two Australian volunteers are seeking donations from Australia’s community radio sector to help them in their work with community radio in Timor-Leste over the next year.

Elena McMaster, from Melbourne, and Claudia Santangelo, from Sydney, are working with Timor-Leste’s community radio association (ARKTL) for 12 months to help them improve their ability to provide news and important information to local communities, often in remote areas.

The women are based in Dili under Austraining International’s volunteer scheme, with support from the Melbourne-based Asia Pacific Journalism Centre (APJC).

More financial support is needed however to help the volunteers and ARKTL cover some costs of travel to areas outside Dili in order to deliver training and other support.

The volunteers aim to raise $8,000 by 21 August 2013.

McMaster and Santangelo are following up the work of Michael Wasmund, who recently completed a 6-week mission to Timor-Leste as an Australian Business Volunteer to assess conditions at radio stations and to develop maintenance procedures and technical training. Donations will also help to reimburse ARKTL for some travel and accommodation costs during this assignment.

McMaster, a producer and trainer with Melbourne station 3CR, says low rates of literacy in Timor-Leste’s rural areas make community radio a vital resource for the two-thirds of Timor-Leste’s population living outside Dili.

“Community radio passes on vital information on health and nutrition, agriculture, education, government policies and other information important for development,” she says.

The volunteer program was developed during a leadership fellowship run by the APJC for ARKTL members in Melbourne in November.

To donate to the campaign visit:


For more information, contact:
Laura Gilmartin
Ph. 0393879740
M. 0430993628