Friends of Lospalos

1. Overview

Mornington Peninsula Friends of Lospalos began in May 2000, when the Mornington Peninsula Shire approved a Friendship relationship between the Shire and the sub - district of Lospalos in the Lautem district of Timor Leste. 

Friends of Lospalos is an elected voluntary committee with Council and community members forming an Executive Committee. 

Executive meetings are held monthly and are open to all members. The committee is a section 86 committee of Council.

A Lospalos Friendship Commission has been established and we will continue to work with our counterparts in Lospalos to fund projects that the community has identified as beneficial, sustainable and achievable.  

2. Guiding Principles

  • Respect and support for Timorese-led decision-making
  • Sustainable and long-term (10 year) assistance
  • Relationships are based on partnerships of mutual respect and collaboration
  • Community Development approach
  • To assist us in our work we have developed and committed to  the following guiding documents
  • Statement of Principles for Victorian Local Governments working with Timor Leste
  • Memorandum of Understanding with Lospalos
  • Committee rules and regulations
  • Instrument of Delegation (Sec 86)
  • Currently developing a long term strategic plan. Click here to view Friends of Lospalos Strategic Plan(PDF, 87KB)  (DRAFT)

Achievements and Completed Projects


  • Scholarships for junior, secondary and tertiary students (up to 75) for Lospalos students and orphans.
  • Supply of material goods for schools at kindergarten, primary and secondary levels.  
  • Human rights and peace building education for children and their carers was provided with support and delivered in Lospalos by a local NGO – Ba Futuru (For the Future)
  • Teacher training sponsorships for Lospalos youth to obtain a Primary Teaching Degree. 
  • Funding for musical instruments for the Lalira Junior School


  • Provision of seven motor cycles for community organisations
  • Supplies for and refurbishment of a Lospalos guest house
  • Supplies and refurbishment for a kindergarten building
  • Funding for a carpenters’ co-operative to supply desks to local Lospalos primary schools
  • Previously sent donated goods and materials during times of crisis.
  • Financial support for women’s textile weavers co-operative
  • Mechanical coconut press for women’s soap making co-operative


  • Two cows were sponsored through the Kiwanis organisation for the Fuiloro Agricultural School dairy herd 
  • Assistance in setting up community gardens
  • Building materials for a silk worm farm 
  • Provision of seeds and tools, water tank, stand and generator to support a plant nursery to enable sustained and continuing production of food crops and agricultural education.  


  • Medical supplies and worming treatments
  • Mosquito nets and other equipment to local Lospalos clinics and the hospital to enhance community health
  • Supply of new reading spectacles


  • Training for youth in bamboo furniture making.
  • Support for women’s groups including training for local weavers, sewing groups, cotton growers and a local soap maker’s cooperative. 
  • Training for community leaders in establishing women’s sewing groups in 10 local villages.
  • Harmonica workshops held and delivered with donated instruments from residents of the Mornington Peninsula.

3. Visits

Project support and monitoring has been via self-funded committee volunteers who have traveled to Lospalos. 

In July 2019, the Mornington Peninsula volunteer team traveled to the Specs for Lospalos Inc. Optometry Clinic at the Lospalos Hospital in far eastern Timor-Leste. 

The team took with them 90kg of donated optometry equipment, prescription spectacles by Specsavers and the Lions Club, $US1,500 in cash donations, uniforms and medical history cards provided by the Shire. Working tirelessly from 8am to 7pm daily, consultations were in the many hundreds including providing glasses to a 102 year old Timorese woman. 

It was a fabulous team effort by senior optometrist Colleen Hammond, Harry Pittock, David and Patricia Ball, Tim Rodgers and Graham Pittock working and training with 15 Timorese volunteers.

 Friends-of-Los-Palos-July-2019-1.jpeg  Friends-of-Los-Palos-July-2019-10.jpg  Friends-of-Los-Palos-July-2019-13.jpg

4. Fundraising

Donations are always welcome!  Fundraising in the community is carried out by the Friends group through public events, talks and through the sale of Timorese goods,  tais (hand woven cloth)  and Timor coffee available at Council customer service outlets.

5. Support Friends of Lospalos

Become a member
An annual fee of $20 entitles you to newsletters and an invite to the monthly and Annual General Meetings and to vote on Executive positions. It also entitles you  to be nominated for a role on the Committee which meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month at 6.30 PM.  Meetings are held at the Shire office in Mornington.

Make a donation
All donations to the support Friends of Lospalos helps to provide community projects in Lospalos.  We do not use donations and fundraising for overheads or travel.  Cheques can be made out to Mornington Peninsula Shire Friends of Lospalos. Please note- we are not able to provide tax deductible receipts at this stage.

Help us with our fundraising
Purchase some delicious Wild Timor organic coffee. Both beans and ground are available from members and at customer service outlets at the Shire; a great gift for yourself or others!

Buy our ethically purchased Lospalos handmade goods, or hold a stall at your community group or work place.
Help us with your own fundraising ideas!  Attend our events which are held locally throughout the year.

Like us on Facebook at:

Other ways to help us:
Attend one of our fundraising movies or events.  

6. Contact

Friends of Lospalos
c/o Mornington Peninsula Shire
Private Bag 1000
Rosebud 3939.

Phone: 1300 850 600 or 5950 1000