Category Archives: Volunteering

My Volunteering Time at Klibur Domin

From David 

 When I left Klibur Domin in November 2016 a lot of what was going through my mind concerned “what hadn’t been done”. There were some specific tasks on the agenda from day one. Tasks identified by others, tasks that could lead to giving real assistance to the Director.

Activities at Klibur Domin with the Sisters from the local school.

Snr Joaquim Soares, Director of KD, was the perfect host. Briefing me the first day he took me around the campus, an orientation walk and an introduction to a few of those on staff. Then into his office for the specifics about how best to use my time to help him. Over the next two days I met most of the staff and Iread lots of notes written by previous volunteers.

My role very much depended on access to information supplied by admin and finance staff. I was very grateful for their input. Early on I came to value the fact that their knowledge of English was vital to success of the job at hand. Key people around the KD site were working on a variety of projects within the compound and it was Joaquim’s desire that some of these projects could do with a helping hand. A new bore and pump needed to be commissioned, a massive 190 metre drain was being constructed along the front to carry the deluge in the monsoons and two new buildings were underway. Add to that a new front fence, entrance and cattle grid and I could see I was going to be spending as much time outside of the office as inside. My role was simply estimating the projects, drawing a few plans and getting the material on site. By the end of my stay I was on first name terms with the guys at the hardware and steel stores.

The new water bore delivered more clean water than ever before much to the delight of all the residents. After a  few weeks, a few new pipes and plumbing bits and it was working perfectly. The drain was finished and KD tradies started on the new Clinic. A local contractor was hired to do the new front fence and work began. Security for the residents was paramount, patients, young people and some residents are vulnerable, their safety is vital.

The compound sometimes looked like a farmyard, cattle grazing, pigs digging up the ground and goats eating anything and everything. ”We need a cattle grid!” After much designing and drawing we were ready to contract out the job. As the construction of the grid drew to a close it was time to get all the animals out before the final stage went ahead, ie “the grid”. Picture 15 people trying to herd sundry animals, never been herded before, through a gate. Somehow grid installed, no more animals.

There were other jobs in the pipeline but my time was up.  Finance reporting was now occurring weekly and Richard from Ballarat arrived to take on both the new project and enhance the role in finance and admin. Not everything on the list got done, but everything that was done allowed Joaquim to get on with his job.

I met some fabulous people, had the experience of working in what they call a “post conflict” country and from my cosy little home in Ballarat, I can appreciate how a little help can make a difference.

Telling My Story – A Life in Nursing

Ondria Cheeseman has always wanted to write a book since her early days.

It was her volunteering experience at Klibur Domin in 2014 that pushed her along her bucket list giving her the much needed motivation to write and realize her dream.

At the age of three, Ondria needed to be hospitalized for heart surgery. She knew then that her calling was to nursing. That was in 1966 and fifty years on Ondria is still nursing.

She trained at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Upon her graduation she worked in Northern Territory, Western Australia, Papua New Guinea in the Duke of York Islands and Bougainville.

Ondria met her husband, Leicester, in Papua New Guinea and went to live in his homeland New Zealand, where they raised their three children.

Returning to Australia they settled in Ballarat, Victoria. Ondria worked in a variety of nursing positions and developed a serious interest in palliative care. This has been her main area of nursing in recent years. Continue reading Telling My Story – A Life in Nursing


My Raphael Family

Karen COWTONI have been asked to submit an article about my time at Raphael in October/November 2014 but I just don’t know where to start.  My 19 yr old daughter and I spent almost two months at Raphael so you would think I could come up with something.  My fear is not being able to do Raphael justice  in  just one short article. I have thought of every excuse under the sun not to write the article but here I am attempting to write it none the less. Continue reading Karen

A Round up of Recent News from Ryder-Cheshire Australia

A very important appointment in Timor-Leste!

Earlier this year, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo became the fifth Prime Minister of independent Timor-Leste. Dr Araujo has had a distinguished career as a medical practitioner and administrator and has previously held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister. Until recently, he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Klibur Domin (the home which Ryder-Cheshire Australia supports in Timor-Leste) and still serves as a member of the Board. Dr Araujo has contributed very generously of his time and expertise to the support and development of Klibur Domin, and we all wish him great success in his role leading Timor-Leste.

Our new web-site is coming soon.

A new version of the Ryder-Cheshire Australia web-site should be up and running in the next few months. The new version will be at the same web address ( but will be streamlined, more easily up-dated and will incorporate new search functions and links. So please keep an eye out for our new look web-site. Continue reading A Round up of Recent News from Ryder-Cheshire Australia