The Committee of Willoughby Friends of Ossu volunteer their time, expertise and experience to guide the successful implementation of projects that will benefit the Ossu community for generations to come.
Rosemary Bekker, BA Dip. Ed
Rosemary Bekker’s (Rosie) love of Timor-Leste grew from teaching Timorese refugees in the 1980’s in Victoria, Australia.
As president and Founder of the Willoughby Friends of Ossu, Rosie is determined to use her skills in Project Management, Business and Education to lead projects that can build meaningful and rewarding benefits for the people of Ossu.
Rosie has a strong focus on governance and is justifiably proud of the accomplishments of the committee and the members of the Friends of Ossu.
Meeting with environmental staff from Timor-Leste, while attending an International Landcare Conference in Darwin, was a key factor in wanting to support the establishment of the Willoughby Friends of Ossu group.
From initial interest in supporting environmental restoration work, based on Alfred’s own professional experience managing Willoughby Council’s Bushland areas, a holistic view integrating social, educational, health and cultural development has emerged.
Linking our respective communities at a grass roots level continues to be enriching and rewarding.
Donna is the Treasurer of Willoughby Friends of Ossu.
While Donna is happier with plants than numbers, being part of a local group such as the Friends of Ossu, has strengthened her interest in other cultures and allows her to assist communities where her skills and energies can be utilised.
Oliver Howes has learnt a lot visiting Timor-Leste, and by researching this endlessly fascinating country on the internet – ‘DIY Development Studies’.
He has previously worked in Asia-Pacific nations including Papua New Guinea and Japan, as well as with Aboriginal people in northern Australia.
Recent use of smartphones in Ossu has transformed our interactions. Our friendships, partnerships and projects are ever stronger and better informed.
Since retiring in 2010, Luke has been co-ordinating social justice activities in his parish and has worked in a voluntary capacity with several not-for-profit organisations.
Luke has a special interest in Timor-Leste having visited there on many occasions.
Luke joined the committee of Willoughby Friends of Ossu several years ago as another way of helping the Timorese and in particular the community of Ossu.
Eli worked in Southeast Asia as Australian representative for a top-line international advertising and PR organisation promoting tourism for the Indonesian archipelago. She liaised with all tourism stakeholders: from Ministers, billionaires to buffalo-men.
Back in Sydney, Eli is seeing it all now from another angle, helping the development of an isolated rural community in Asia’s newest nation.
Stuart joined Willoughby Friends of Ossu in 2013 and has assisted with developing the new website, maintaining our Facebook page and has participated in events to raise funds and awareness for the Friends of Ossu.
He’s keen to be involved in our programs that promote access to clean water and educational opportunities after living in South America for two years and seeing a lack of these basic necessities there, which we take for granted.
When he’s not helping with Willoughby Friends of Ossu you can find him leading high school groups on guided walks through Willoughby bushland or watching his mighty Geelong Cats in the footy.