As part of our commitment to social justice, Damascus College has a unique relationship with Timor Leste and our sister school, Santa Maria College in Ainaro.

Through the Ballarat Friends of Ainaro Community Committee Sister School Program, Damascus College was linked with a school in East Timor in 2005. As a result, Damascus College formed a sister school relationship with Santa Maria College in Ainaro. Damascus now conducts an annual Immersion Program to East Timor for Year 11 students each June.

Damascus College has been consolidating its relationship with Timor-Leste (East Timor).

In 2011, Damascus ran its inaugural Immersion Program to Timor-Leste for a group of Year 11 students. In June 2012, seven students took part in the second of what has become an annual event. In 2018, 15 students and four staff members became the eighth group and are now assisting with the preparation of the next group.

Students wishing to take part in the program apply during Term 3 of the preceding year (Year 10) and once accepted, commence planning and fundraising for the following year. Each year the Timor Leste immersion students have raised over $10,000 which was then donated to various organisations within Timor Leste. On each occasion, our sister school in Ainaro, Santa Maria College, was the major beneficiary.

The goals of the Timor-Leste Immersion experience include consideration of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Human Dignity, Community and the Common Good, Rights and Responsibilities, Options for the poor and vulnerable, Participation, Dignity of work and Rights of Workers, Stewardship of Creation, Solidarity, the Role of Government and the Promotion of Peace.

Immersion Programs to Ainaro are for Year 11 students each year, with the application, planning and fundraising occurring in Year 10 for the following year.

Download the Timor Leste Prospectus

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