RIAK Retreat Update Report, 1 October 2020
Reference: Riak Retreat Phase 2 Development Report, dated 7 February 2020 (attached)
Background. Riak Retreat is a project initiated and funded by Australian veterans in the development of a multi-purpose education facility on the south coast of Timor-Leste. The retreat is a collaboration between Australian and Timorese veterans, strengthening people to people relations, fighting poverty, contributing to economic development and peace and stability for future generations in Timor-Leste. The retreat is an extension of the Timor Awakening Program, providing a focus for Australian Veterans to raise money, volunteer and learn the benefits of giving and serving others, especially those less fortunate. The project is located amongst the communities that supported Australian Commandos in World War 2 and is considered a key part of Australia’s debt of honour to the people of Timor-Leste. The primary focus of Riak Retreat an English language school; a centre for teaching and learning of the english language for rural poor Timorese, combined with vocational education and practical life skills. Riak Retreat is situated on 5 hectares gifted to Australian veterans by the veterans of Timor-Leste, in the vicinity of a VET university built by Timor-Leste Veterans, called the Boa-Ventura University Timor-Leste (UBTL).