|Issue No 78||17 November 2000|
Public Education Bus Donated to East Timor
By Kerri Carr
The bus, valued at about $8000, was farewelled from Federation's head office by Federation officers and staff and Education Minister John Aquilina on November 7.
The NSW Education Ministry paid for the transportation of the bus to Dili.
Much of East Timor's infrastructure, including schools, education resources and transport was lost in the terrible destruction that followed their vote for independence.
Federation General Secretary John Hennessy said the donation of the Public Education bus arose from an initiative of teacher unions and the NSW Government to assist in the development of a new education system in East Timor.
"In conversations with the administrator responsible for education we learned help was needed getting students to university and school because there was no transport," Mr Hennessy said.
"Eighteen bus stops have been built and we've provided the first bus.
"It will provide the foundation of transport and public education in East Timor," he added.
Mr Hennessy said that initially the bus would be used to transport university students to the university in Dili.
He said the education administrator, Fr Filameno, was now looking all over the world for another six buses.
When the bus was farewelled from Federation it was taken to Ingleburn where it was placed on a truck to be driven to Darwin. When it reached Darwin the Public Education Bus was placed on a ship to travel to Dili.
It's hoped the bus will be in use by this week, as the university opened last week, the university library stocked with books donated by Australian universities and universities in Portugal.
Federation urges teachers to contribute funds to the Helping Our Neighbour: East Timor Education Fund established by Education Minister John Aquilina, which will support the building of a new education system in East Timor.
Contributions should be paid into the fund by cheques made out to "Helping Our Neighbour: East Timor Education Fund" and posted to Jim Harkin, Executive Director, Corporate Strategy, Level 4, 35 Bridge Street Sydney 2000.
Caption: Federation's Public Education bus gets a festive send off before its journey to East Timor.
Caption: Education Minister John Aquilina joins NSW Teachers Federation General Secretary John Hennessy to farewell the Public Education bus.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005