Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ballarat to build Timor-Leste playground on 20th anniversary of friendship

City of Ballarat Council has announced it will help build a playground in Timor-Leste as it marks 20 years of friendship with the Municipality of Ainaro.

Council approved an officer’s recommendation to contribute $7,500 towards stage one costs for a playground in the small mountain town of Ainaro, which is the capital of the Municipality of Ainaro.

There will be a further $7,500 of funding contributed by the Ballarat Friends of Ainaro Community Committee raised through community fundraising, meaning a total of $15,000 will be sent to Ainaro.

The funds will be drawn from the 2023/24 Cultural Partnerships budget.

The playground project is expected to be complete in multiple stages, with the initial $15,000 to cover the first stage.

Mayor, Des Hudson said he was proud to be able to contribute something meaningful to Ainaro on the 20th anniversary of the partnership.

“We treasure our meaningful relationship with Ainaro that has now existed for two decades,” he said.

“It might seem like a small gesture, but it is something that can be so important to a town like Ainaro, so we are proud to lend our support.

“I must also congratulate the Ballarat Friends of Ainaro Community Committee for the outstanding work they have undertaken to raise $7,500.”

Council’s friendship with the Municipality of Ainaro in Timor-Leste began with the formal Friendship Agreement signed on 1 July, 2003. 

Since then, the Ballarat Ainaro Community Development Organisation Inc. and the Ballarat Friends of Ainaro Community Committee have formed a close relationship. This includes developing capacity building projects, responding to disaster relief, and continuing to enhance relationships at a government, municipal and community level between the two communities.

There have been several City of Ballarat exchange visits to Ainaro, including in 2013 for the 10th anniversary of the Friendship Agreement, and in 2016 where City of Ballarat signed an updated Agreement to further support the development of the relationship.

The Mayor, a Councillor and a Council Officer will also travel to Ainaro later this year to mark the 20th anniversary, which was approved at the February Ordinary Council meeting.

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