The education of media professionals in East Timor has overcome a barrier of poor technical resources thanks to a substantial donation of communication equipment to the National University of East Timor (UNTL) by the University of Technology Sydney.
The Head of UNTL's Faculty of Social Sciences Constancia Barros and Deputy Head Dominika Dwikori visited UTS last week to accept the donation of 15 high-quality cameras at the end of their lease for use in Sydney, along with communication equipment including recording devices, computers and editing suites from the UTS School of Communication.
Ms Dwikori said the donation would allow the recently established Faculty of Social Sciences to deliver a high-quality journalism program in association with the Press Council of Timor Leste.
"This gives the students the opportunity to improve their professional skills in using modern cameras and editing, motivating them to learn new media technologies in use in other countries," she said.
Dean of the UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Mary Spongberg said UTS's assistance would not end with the equipment donation.
"In coming weeks two staff from the faculty's Media Lab, Miguel Valenzuela and Teigan Kollosche, will travel to Timor to train the UNTL Faculty of Social Sciences staff in the use of the equipment," Professor Spongberg said.
"The donation and associated training will develop technical proficiency within their program to raise the educational standard and support improved media reporting in East Timor, as well as creating career pathways from UNTL to Timor's national broadcaster."
During their two days at UTS Ms Barros and Ms Dwikori also met with UTS journalism academics and observed journalism and documentary production classes.