NEWS (Sept 20 2009):

an informative video, by Brian Bailey, about Remexio and some of our work there, can be seen on YouTube (click here)

our most recent fund-raising concert was of Irish songs sung by soprano Annalisa Kerrigan; for details, click here

our fund-raising Trek for Timor - held on Sept 19 2009 - is now over; see our new website - - for details, and click here to read comments (below) by satisfied trekkers

please note: as of October 1 2009, this website will no longer be updated;
for future news, go to our new site (bookmark it?):

menu: introduction | people | donations | fund-raising | projects | archives
The Quilt | Idea of North | Silent Movie Festival | A Letter from Sarah | Chris in Timor
scholarships | Remexio District Village Lighting Project | Wes's rehabilitation | new KVRP website | 2009 events

The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership

After the destruction and killing which devastated East Timor in September 1999, a small group of KV residents felt a need to help. A partnership was discussed with an East Timorese village, Remexio (a small village in the hills about one hour's drive south of Dili) and the Kangaroo Valley - Remexio Partnership was born. Eight years on (2008), we continue to have a mix of KV locals and associates working with East Timorese in Australia and in East Timor.

The KVRP is a "bottom up" or "grass roots" approach to helping the East Timorese help themselves. We strive to assist the East Timorese achieve dignified living through health, education, justice, employment and ecologically sustainable industry. We selectively try to help in ways that may be of a low priority to the UN and other NGOs.

Rather than large single projects, we pursue small, personal and usually integrated activities. Being substantially self-funded, our material contributions are small. Instead, we rely on sharing our existing skills in projects or in day-to-day situations.

We try to foster long-term personal relationships with East Timorese people and actively encourage this approach in others. That part which is conducted in Australia is the provision of education and training to those who have appropriate interests and aptitudes for leadership and mentoring roles back in East Timor.

Much of our involvement is now outside of Remexio, in other parts of East Timor, as well as in active networking within Australia. We now enjoy ongoing relationships with numerous individuals and activities. Along the way we have tried to identify the best and worst of our respective Australian and East Timorese lifestyles, to better influence both our paths into the future.

The violent "situation" in Dili, that drastically worsened in May 2006, provided us all with significant and new challenges in safety and communication. Yet clearly, the needs of the East Timorese people became even more acute, highlighting the importance and urgency of continuing and extending our Timorese relationships.

Paul Turnock (02 4465 1357)


Remexio kids While we cover all our own expenses such as air fares, accommodation etc as well as all administration overheads, we welcome donations from others. If you can spare a few dollars - or a lot - please make your cheque payable to

KV East Timor Assistance
If you send your donation to

John George
1255 Moss Vale Road
Kangaroo Valley
NSW 2577

and include your address then we'll make sure you get a receipt from AFAP (The Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific), allowing you to claim a tax deduction. You may also donate by making a payment directly into our bank account - for details, see here.

100% of funds raised from the public go directly towards helping the East Timorese and are fully accounted for. Donors may request that their funds be directed towards particular areas of their own special interest, such as health, education etc.


KVRP is a loose collective of like-minded souls who meet regularly (at Bella's Café in Kangaroo Valley) to discuss, plan and implement projects. They include Brian Bailey, Janet Bundey, Lynne Dooley, Robert Farnham, Sandy Fritz, John George, Helen George, Terry Hennessy, Diana Jaffray, Lynne Kievers, Trish Livesey, Les Mitchell, Michael Moore, Louise Morgan, Peter Morgan, Pam Morrissey, Chris Nobel, David Prescott, Sue Prescott, Peter Stanton (pictured, left), Rosemary Stanton, Kerrina Swords, Greg Thompson, Libby Turnock, Paul Turnock, Martin Wesley-Smith & Peter Wesley-Smith.



In recent years we have raised most of our funds through concerts (e.g. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, which featured soprano Annalisa Kerrigan, who is a major supporter of AFAP (Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific)) and silent movie shows (e.g. The Fifth Annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Festival). A typical concert, a great success in every way, was As It Is In Heaven, featuring SHE (The Seven Harp Ensemble), Kangaroo Valley Hall, 7.30pm Sunday January 27 2008. Support group: The Choir That Dare Not Speak Its Name. For more information, see here. Excerpt from the review by Anne Glading in the local journal of record, The Kangaroo Valley Voice, February 2008:

"superb talent ... An exciting concert to witness: it certainly shook any preconceived ideas I may have had about the gracious and sweet-sounding harp. This concert showed a more meaty and percussive side to the instrument without losing any of the beauty ... If I had to sum the concert up in one word, it would be Charming!" [more]

events in 2009:

The Idea of North
The First Annual Kangaloon Buster Keaton Silent Movie Festival
The Seventh Annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Festival
Trek for Timor


* The Idea of North, 7.30pm Saturday 4 July 2009, Kangaroo Valley Hall (for details click here)


Brilliant concert by a brilliant group. Kangaroo Valley Hall was packed by a most appreciative audience. TION are not only outstanding singers individually and collectively but also outstanding entertainers. A highlight for some was TION inviting a local choir to sing with them, a cappella, Otto Mortensen's Since You Went Away.

... such a fantastic night on Saturday once again. I loved it, as did my friends who came along and who don't usually go to such concerts. TION are SO good!

Great concert last night... loved it, loved it, loved it ....

The concert was just great and I enjoyed singing with those gifted people, even if only for a minute or so - what a blast! Thanks for bringing it all together.

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* The First Annual Kangaloon Buster Keaton Silent Movie Festival, with Robert Constable (piano), 7.30pm Friday 14 August 2009, Kangaloon Hall, Kangaloon; for information and tickets, call or email Brian Bailey [4888 2352] or Jo Henderson [4888 2060]. To see Diana Jaffray's excellent poster, in colour, click here.


Small audience, relatively low-key event, but a most enjoyable evening in a lovely old hall that almost certainly would have been visited by a "picture-show man" in the 1920s with these very same films. Robert Constable was in fine form. Keaton's classic feature film The General was the highlight.

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* The Seventh Annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Festival, with Robert Constable (piano), 7.30pm Saturday 15 August 2009, Kangaroo Valley Hall (for details, click here). To see Diana Jaffray's equally excellent poster, in colour, click here (separate file, 352KB).


The most hilarious show yet: good attendance, a delicious supper, delightful atmosphere, Keaton's funniest short: Neighbours, and one of his funniest feature films: The Navigator. Let's hope Robert Constable can make it eight annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton silent movie festivals on the trot!

Excerpts from some of the emails received after the show:

... best one yet ... (Robert) played brilliantly, the movies were terrific, the audience was with him all the way, the atmosphere was fantastic, everyone (as far as I could see) loved it, it all looked and sounded great, and it had pathos as well as humour - all in all it was hugely entertaining at every level.

I thought it all went swimmingly, and was obviously greatly enjoyed by the audience. I'm still chuckling at the memory of the 3-storeys-high-people-towers lurching from side to side in the adjoining yards, and at the girlfriend "rowing" Buster away from the cannibals, to mention just a few of the highlights... Robert's skill continues to amaze me ...

thanks again for an extraordinary evening of Buster Keaton flicks with Robert Constable's amazing piano improv ... both are legends!!

The festival was a great success and Robert seems to be enjoying it still, how great is that? I enjoyed the "Neighbours" just as much the 2nd time, I had to tone down my laughter because I think I was louder than those around me. BK and RC are brilliant.

Just a note to let you know how much I loved the Buster night ... and how much I thought Robert's playing contributed to the enjoyment of the movies. A very funny night. Thank you and thank you to Robert.

Can you please thank Robert again for coming all this way to "tickle the ivories" ... I can vouch for my 10 yr. old when I say we get totally immersed in the movie as Robert sets the tone and mood with his playing. It's so easy to forget that he's right there in the room watching the movie unfold with us, creating his magic!!

... a fun night at Kangaroo Valley. We had lots of laughs during the silent films. The pianist was very skillful in creating the appropriate moods. Robert has a rare talent and is a generous person too. The cooks of K.V. are to be commended.

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* Ireland, a concert by singer Annalisa Kerrigan with pianist Michael Tyack and fiddler Lindsay Martin, 2.30pm Sunday 30 August 2009, Kangaroo Valley Hall (for details, click here). To see yet another excellent Diana Jaffray poster, click here (separate file, 332KB).


In its own way, one of the best and most enjoyable concerts ever. I listened with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye as Ms Kerrigan, with a twinkle in her voice as well as her eye, sang a marvellous selection of songs, superbly accompanied by Tyack and Martin. The audience loved it. But there were not many of them, with the result that the concert lost money. This was very disappointing, for apart from anything else it means that future concerts are now in jeopardy ...

... what a wonderful afternoon ... am so stuffed full of appreciation for the concert, thought I should write now while the emotion runs high and I am full of good feeling and well, wine really. I am Annalisa's biggest fan, I thought Irish music might be a bit daggy but NO, it was all lovely, especially "Peggy Turner". Everyone I spoke to .... loved Peggy Turner best....thought I was going to cry! The unrelinquished love theme is indeed a heart breaker and this song rings so bloody bloody heart breaking! It was so poignant.

I know we didn't get many bums on seats but it was none the less so special, stuff the crowds, everyone in that room loved every minute, especially me, and ... all my friends.... Everyone loved it ... I hope she enjoyed it as much as she appeared to. Her fellow musos were great... Loved em ... it was fantastic and I am full of good feelings ...

I LOVED it. She has a lovely lovely voice - always beautiful, never shrill - and such a wonderful stage presence. The songs were fantastic - many good ones that I hadn't heard in years. I got goosebumps several times, which is always the best indicator of a moving performance in my opinion.
Many thanks to both of you.

Listening to Annalisa's waiting on an angel CD just now, I realised that I haven't yet put a few words on cyber-paper about the concert on 30th ... We'd like Annalisa and her fabulous accompanists to know how much their music was appreciated, so if you feel Annalisa and Co would like some feedback, please forward this to them.

The CD is a lovely addition to our music collection. We've played it several times since the concert, and I'm sorry I didn't purchase 'Ireland' as well ... Annalisa's voice is so beautiful, but as I'm sure you'll agree, nothing can beat a live performance. (We) loved everything about the concert, even though neither of us is of recent Irish lineage. Surely the original accompanists couldn't have surpassed the musicianship of Michael and Lindsay, who were superb. The warmth and vibrancy of all three musicians seemed to touch everyone in the audience.

Here is what John had to say: "It was probably the nicest concert I've been to in the Valley in a long time. It was absolutely wonderful. The only disappointment is that a lot of people didn't get to experience it. I thought the two people who accompanied Annalisa were brilliant."

And Helen: "I haven't struck anyone who didn't enjoy it. I felt extremely happy afterwards. She's got a glorious voice - I'd rather listen to her than anyone else - Dame Joan eat your heart out! The fiddle player seemed to be accompanying her by watching her breathing. They [Michael and Lindsay] played their part to perfection. And doing that from behind, as the pianist did, was brilliant. I looked at the audience during the performance and everyone was smiling and wrapped. Anyone who wasn't there missed something extremely special. (I don't know if the problem was being on a Sunday.)"

I agree with them both, including that last comment of Helen's about what the people who weren't there missed out on. Such a pity about the relatively small audience ...

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* Trek for Timor, an Oxfam-style walk in Kangaroo Valley, September 19 2009. Visit our new website - - for information.


This was a huge success! Read what some of the happy trekkers had to say post-Trek:

Dear Lynne, Lynne, Sandy, Greg, Trish, Robert, Janet, Les, John, Brian.....and extended Timor team.

What a fabulous day yesterday, blessed by perfect weather and all resulting from so much hard work and brilliant organization on your part. Peter and I really enjoyed playing a small part in it yesterday and are truly awed by how it all came together, your attention to detail was rewarded by participant's many positive and complimentary comments. They obviously enjoyed their journey and the support and comforts offered to them.

Well done TFT team, "love ya work" and many many thanks for your commitment.

I will never forget it ... What a day!
Everything was perfect .... Congratulations to everybody and especially to Lynne and Lynne, Trish, Sandy, Les, Robert, Brian and Janet. And Libby ... The feedback on your cutouts was well worth the time and effort you put into it.
The participants were, without exception, overwhelmed with the organisation, attention to detail and good will and friendliness of all the volunteers. (wish I could have taped some of their comments!)
Just had to say how proud I am to know you all and to have shared in the experience.
Love you all

Apart from being a tad tired we had a really great day! Everyone did such a wonderful job in making the trek a fabulous experience. All the volunteers worked together to create a really good feeling amongst all the trekkers. The goodwill and the work of KVRP for the past ten years made the support needed to fundraise so successfully possible.
John, I guess we are going to spent the next few weeks dealing with the donations.
We both really loved being part of this!

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I would like to congratulate you on a wonderful Trek 4 Timor. Our team had a great time and enjoyed every step of the walk! The organisation seemed to be faultless - the trail was very well marked, toilets always available, the volunteers always cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic, the food that was provided absolutely incredible (particularly the soups and the muffins!), tea and coffee was there where we needed it, the registration at the start was quick and efficient, our certificates were provided within a minute of us finishing, and the offer of lifts back to the start was much appreciated. All of this meant that our team could concentrate on the walk, enjoy the beauty of the area, and support each other in finishing. Having had two of our team never having entered a walk such as this, they are now converts thanks to your efforts. Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers and organisers - wonderful event and wonderful people! We certainly hope that you surpassed your fundraising target as you certainly deserve to.


Just wanted to say a big thank you to all those involved in running the Trek for Timor. I was one of a team of 4, the "Hot Shot Hikers", and can say that our experience was made all the more enjoyable by the lovely people manning the check points. Their attention to detail, home made soup and yummy treats, friendly faces, encouraging words and cheers made it all that much easier and more pleasant. None of our team had walked further than 30 km in a day prior to the event, and we finished without injuries, a minimum of blisters, and still able to smile.

Thank you for organising such an awesome event. 'Team Sue' had a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and would do it again. Great cause and I look forward to the next fundraiser.

... we found (the event) very well organised and run. The committee should be congratulated on running such an excellent event. Both myself and my staff had a very enjoyable day and were pleased at the apparent smoothness that the day that the day was run ...

... (we all) enjoyed the event and would happily contribute again. Best part for me was that you are a very happy and easy group to work with. Congratulations on a well designed and run event and a great outcome for the people of East Timor.

Thank you for all your hard work. Everything you did was such a success and went so smoothly. You made it look like you had done this many times and look so easy. I know there must have been an incredible amount of long hours, hard dedication, organization, running around and much more behind the scenes leading up to such an incredible day.

You demonstrated what a tight, passionate, spirited and embracing community can do when they come together as one. If only more communities these days could do this, we would have such a nicer society to live in for the elderly, ourselves and our children. And Kangaroo Valley - boy do you have some fab cooks in your town!!! The food was sensational (I would love to get the cookies recipe if it isn't already patented).

I just hope that after all your hard hard work, you all got as much joy and satisfaction from Saturday as we did. I and my team will never forget the Trek and it certainly will keep a smile on our faces forever in our lives. We had so much fun and felt so enlightened and empowered by the experience. I think about being back there doing it all over again and feel kind of sad that it is now all over.

Well done to you all. I just hope you all get together and celebrate when you can. And if you happen to do this event or any other event similar, please let me know. We would also love to hear about any way that we could assist with the Remexio village and would love some information on the clever engineered solar lighting.

Thank you again and keep us in touch. You are truly inspirational!!!!!!!


(I was one of the (two women) that a gorgeous Canadian, I think his name was Robert, picked up on Saturday night and saved our lives. We only had 5km to go but he came along in his ute just in time before we kissed the dirt. He took Nicole and myself to the finish and I was treated in the Ambo's station with stretches and electrolights. Being a Fitness Leader I was very sad with myself for not making it, but at the end of it all I look back now and believe it just was not my day and that I am proud of what I accomplished and hey thats just how life is. I have almost fully recovered, I went and taught a speed class (high cardio bike class) tonight and blitzed it with all the members in the class. They had a hard workout as I went hard and maintained the Trek 4 Timor spirit all the way through. I told them my story and they were so amazed with it. Cycling has helped with my muscle recovery and I am back tommorow to teach again - there is no limit, I just keep smiling!!! My other 2 team members ... were so incredible as they made the 50km and (we) are so proud of them. What an achievement!!!!)

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Huge congratulations for the weekend. Mum tells me the fund-raising from the trek alone should reach $50 000 which in itself is amazing. But I have to say that the organization for the event was beyond belief....

the signposting was great, the volunteers were helpful, everything had been thought of and more....the people cut outs along the fire trail from fiztroy to meryla cheered everyone up.

So well done and thanks so much for all your hard work.

Congratulations on Saturday - everything was perfect. Great course, superb organisation, perfect provisioning, tremendous support from all the volunteers, wonderful course marking - the signs and the quiet busker before the Meryla Pass checkpoint were a true highlight. I enjoyed every aspect and felt really happy for the KVRP crew that everything seemed to go perfectly according to plan. Thank you for making being a participant in the event such a lovely experience. I do hope it becomes an annual event - am sure it will book out quickly if scheduled next year, With love and thanks

(a happy participant and the junior team member of Trek Wreck delegated by the team captain to finish or not come home)

It was one of the best runs / walks I have ever done! We can't stop raving about it and will definitely be starters for the next one. The checkpoints were a gourmand's delight and everyone was just so nice!

I have attached the article from the Advertiser for your records.

... now have a good rest!

One may be forgiven for not realising this was the 1st endurance trailwalker organised by KVRP. It was one of the best organised events I have taken part in over the years. The food was FANTASTIC! The efforts of all the happy volunteers were amazing! All very caring, especially when faced with us grumpy and tired trail walkers.

As the skin grows back, the rashes fade and the memory of the hip pain fades, I'd be happy to be back next year (don't quote me!).

Great effort and a huge thank you!

Amazing soup and food - THANKS, you kept us going!

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the event the other week and really appreciated all the effort that went into making this the success it turned out to be. The scenery was sensational, enhanced by the good fortune of some glorious weather conditions, including some challenging trails through a part of Australia that I had never experienced before. What better way to discover them! The organisation was meticulous and the volunteers at all stations extremely friendly, their high spirits always lifting me to dig a little deeper. That and the pumpkin soup of course!

I understand from talking to some of the volunteers at the finish line that next year the event maybe in the Blue mountains. As beautiful this region is I sincerely hope that the event will remain in the Kangaroo Valley as it is the only one of its kind in this region and it would be a shame to lose it to a place that a number of similar running events already exist. At present these include the six foot track ultra-marathon in March and both the Wild Endurance and North Face 100km in May. I know this was predominantly a hiking event but I'm sure if the event were to continue in the Kangaroo Valley it would definitely grow to become a popular and regular ultra-marathon in the running calendar. I've no doubt the local community as a whole would benefit from hosting this event and would be a fabulous stage to showcase the region's natural beauty to visitors from across the country.

Thank you again for a fabulous day and hope to see you and the rest of the crew at next year's event, wherever it may be and congratulations on a mammoth fundraising effort for a very worthy cause. Maybe one year we could have the event in Timor?!

P.S. For those I spoke with at the finish line in case they were wondering, I managed to complete the Sydney marathon the next day ... a little sore Monday but still walking!

Thankyou for a very well organised and well run trek. The support at the checkpoints was over the top. My only criticism is it was half an hour too long!!! ... Thank you for your encouragement.
Sore but not sorry!

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One of our current projects is the provision of scholarships for students from Remexio to the Teachers College in Baucau, East Timor. Agostinha, Eduarda, and Virginia (left) are among the first recipients of these. Their costs from October to December 2007, for example, included, for the three of them combined, college registration: US$75; fees: $180; photocopying: $45; note paper: $5; lodging ($10/person/month): $90; food: $40; gas, phone card: $15; and bus fares (for one trip home each month): $54. That's about AUD200 per student per tri-semester, or $600 per year (which is 20 concert tickets @ $30). It's more now, of course. Two generous donors are helping us with these expenses, but we need more support ...

We believe that education is one of the key areas to be developed if East Timor is to make the transition from a war-ravaged divided country to one that's peaceful and prosperous. Helping Timorese learn to teach others is one of the most useful contributions we can make.

Remexio District Village Lighting Project

Last year Brian Bailey was in Timor-Leste working with ATA (Alternative Technology Association) installing solar lighting systems. Read his report here (.pdf, 936KB, amended, from the December 2008 edition of the Kangaroo Valley Voice). An extract:

We identified approximately one hundred and twenty houses in need of lighting. The group has made the mistake in the past of contributing to selected individuals in a community, and found that this can cause more problems than it solves. The only solution is to offer solar units to every one of the hundred and twenty ...

With each household making an initial payment (plus a monthly servicing fee), the cost per unit will be about $150. Thus we need to find about eighteen thousand dollars.

Read more here, particularly the bit at the end about how to make a tax-deductible donation!



This is an example of one of many articles published in the Kangaroo Valley Voice over the years. It appeared in June 2000.

to read others, access our archive site

read here (separate page, .pdf, 36KB) Louise Morgan's recommendation, in 2003, that KVRP purchase soccer uniforms for young people in Remexio