Your care really counts. Latest news from East Timor Hearts Fund.
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Hello and goodbye...

The latest comings and goings

We’ve had some serious hellos and goodbyes over recent months. We farewelled school teacher and mum of seven Rita, who had a longer than expected stay after her surgery was postponed. Rita, and her husband Samuel, who we flew out from Timor-Leste to keep her company, returned home in August, grateful for her newly healthy heart.
We also farewelled one of our foundation board members, chartered accountant and tax whiz Naida Beltrame. You can read more about Naida’s achievements below.
And we said a hearty hello – to our inaugural CEO, Ken Dusting. Ken came on board in August, following an extensive recruitment and selection process. Ken is a highly experienced not for profit and health sector leader (more about him below) and we are thrilled with his appointment.
We also said both goodbye and hello to our volunteer medical team, which has completed another round of screening clinics in Timor-Leste. The medicos, administrators, students, interpreters and support staff who volunteer to make our screening clinics possible continue to inspire us with their dedication.
Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy this newsletter.
– Ingrid Svendsen, board chair
'Excellent outcomes' 
Medical roundup with Dr Noel 
Greetings all,
It's been a very busy few months since our last newsletter. We've had great results with patients treated at MonashHeart and Royal Melbourne Hospital, with a mix of open heart and per-cutaneous (via the groin) procedures. These include balloon dilatation of severely narrowed mitral valves, closure of ASD (hole in the heart) and valve repairs and replacements.
All our patients have had excellent outcomes.
The team has just returned from a very busy series of clinics in East Timor, including a regional clinic in Baucau.
Over 100 patients were seen. We were delighted to see many old friends doing well, and to identify a significant number of new patients desperately needing life-saving procedures.
A couple of young women, aged 16 and 22, are of particular concern, with devastatingly severe mitral stenosis. We’re getting on with that as quickly as we can and hope to have these two young ladies in Australia for treatment in the very near future.
Thank you for supporting our work.
Dr Noel Bayley, honorary medical adviser
Smile if your heart's healthy!
In September our volunteer medical team caught up with some previous patients, including school teacher and mum of seven Rita, coffee plantation worker and father of one Agripino and teacher and father of three beautiful girls Tomas. Before their procedures, all had limited life expectancy, and daily life was a struggle. As you can see, they are now in great heart health. It's always a cause for joy and excitement when our volunteers get to see the results of their work reflected in happy, smiling faces and lives transformed. Thank you for supporting our work and making this possible.

Herograms for our friends!

Hilary and Tom

Australian couple Hilary and Tom met in Timor-Leste and are committed to the wellbeing our our next door neighbours. So when they tied the knot recently, instead of gifts, they asked guests to make a donation to us. Their kind friends tipped in more than $4000!
Such a beautiful gesture of generosity and compassion is a wonderful way to start a new life together. Thanks Hilary and Tom, we wish you a long and happy marriage.
Check out Hilary and Tom's wedding registry here. And if you have a special occasion that you'd like to dedicate to us, please contact us and we'll help set up your fundraising. 

Connor and Ethan

Connor Bell recently decided to forgo birthday presents, and instead ask his friends to donate to us, raising an amazing $375! Younger brother Ethan was so inspired that he tipped in his piggy bank, contributing another $59! What a great pair of kids. Their generosity will help heart patients, some not much older than them, to have a second chance at life.
Three minutes with…

Ken Dusting, inaugural CEO

How did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?
In 2010 I was sent to Timor-Leste as an Australian Business Volunteer (ABV) adviser to work with a not-for-profit women’s group based in Maliana, in the far west of Timor-Leste. This was just 10 years after the Timor-Leste struggle for independence. Despite the poverty and loss, people's energy, optimism and love for each other was so infectious and inspirational that my wife Robyn and I decided to do whatever we could to assist these people in developing an equitable, sustainable and peaceful democracy. Earlier in 2015 I noticed that ETHF was looking for an inaugural CEO. Following an extensive selection process and discussions I agreed to accept the role.
What does your role entail?
My role as inaugural CEO and first paid member of staff is a significant step in the development of ETHF. As well as the usual administrative functions, my highest priority will be to help realise the new strategic plan, which will continue ETHF's transformation from a small ‘cottage industry’ to a high-performing, modern, sustainable organisation.
What do you do in your spare time?
My interests include conservation, sailing (ocean racing/cruising and traditional boats), travel (usually to out of the way places), fishing and walking. I am also interested in supporting the most disadvantaged people in our part of the world. I have successfully completed six ABV aid development projects in South East Asia and the Pacific. Any spare time is spent with Robyn and our family (two adult children and five grandchildren) and friends.
See Ken's full bio on our website.

Our 2014 annual report is out now! It showcases our patient work and our dedicated volunteers.
During 2014 our volunteer medical team undertook two missions to Timor-Leste, to identify new patients and check on previous ones. We provided life-saving heart surgery for six patients, including Ana Clarita, 14; Lucas, 15; and Melinda, 17. A highlight was having previous patient Nina as our guest of honour at Run Melbourne, along with Tomas, fresh from his heart procedure the previous week.
You can read the report online or download it here (or if you would like a printed copy please contact us). We hope you enjoy seeing our 2014 highlights and that you share a sense of pride in supporting our life-saving work.

PS: A huge thanks to all who donated their talents to help produce the report: photographers Jorge de Arujo, Daniel Mendelbaum and Mat Lynn; graphic designers Struck & Spink and the wonderful team at Fullpoint Media.


Thanks again to all who contributed to our Run Melbourne fundraiser. The figures are now in, and we raised more than $15,000! The funds will pay for surgery for a patient very soon. Special thanks to champion fundraisers Victoria, Chico, Lidia and Susan. Donations are still welcome via our fundraising page. You might also want to sponsor our excellent friend Joao, who is doing Melbourne Marathon to benefit our work and honor his sister, who tragically died from heart disease. Details here. 
We are saddened to report the retirement of one of our foundation directors, chartered accountant Naida Beltrame. Naida’s contribution has, literally, been invaluable. Her persistence and tax expertise helped us to gain tax endorsements, including the all-important DGR status, which has allowed our public support to grow. Whether it’s been through insightful contributions around the board table or doing Run Melbourne with her six year old son, Naida has always shown professionalism and passion for the cause. We’ll miss her but understand her need to focus on work and family. From the bottom of our collective hearts Naida, thank you.
Help save a life. Click here!
Get involved!
If you, your family, club, colleagues or workplace would like to learn more about how you can support our work, please visit

Make a tax deductible donation via our secure online facility

Please note our new mailing address
East Timor Hearts Fund
PO Box 23063, Docklands VIC 8012, Australia.

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