Who we are
ETWA is a not-for-profit organisation run by Australian women in support of Timorese women living on the southern tip of Timor-Leste. From campaigns and events to community stalls, our committed volunteers undertake a range of activities to make project's a reality. We aim to connect with the broader community to raise awareness about women's issues and promote women's culture in Timor-Leste.New volunteers are welcome anytime. Contact us for more information, visit our Get Involved Page or visit us at our office which we share with Borderlands Cooperative in Melbourne.
ETWA mourns the passing of Marcelina Pinto, the inspirational founder and leader of the Mate Restu (Survivors) women’s group in Fuat village, Iliomar. Click here to read more
Click here to see the promo of our film 'Weaving Life' or purchase your own copy from our Bookshop.
What we do
Want to know more about the Fair Futures Project?
GOOD NEWS: We reached our donor target and have now secured a place on GlobalGiving's international fundraising platform! Special thanks to everyone who helped us acheive this important goal! The project is now open for general donations for the next twelve months. More info see: Fair Futures for 250 Women & Girls in Timor-Leste Project through GlobalGiving
By promoting tais, we raise the profile of traditional weaving as both important to culture and a viable occupation to eradicate poverty. We are committed to fair trade and buy directly from Timorese producers. Our partnerships are based on the principles of reciprocity, economic justice and cultural preservation. We work with a range of partners in Australia and Timor-Leste and purchase crafts from producers including our key partner groups in Lautem, and the Dili-based enterprise Jeitu, Boneca's in Atauro island and CTID in Baucau. This helps in a small way to support Timor's budding handcrafts industry.
ETWA members also assist with the Liman TL projects which aims to support development and sustainability of the handcrafts industry in Timor-Leste. For more info see http://www.liman.tl/
GIVING TO EACH OTHER: A NEW TAIS AND PRODUCT RANGE
Fo-Ba-Malu (Giving to Each Other) is a story of collaboration between ETWA volunteers and hand-weavers from Lautem. It is new brand and a new product range celebrating long-term relationships between Australian and Timorese female artists. The Fo Ba Malu project was a long time in the making and was inspired by ETWA volunteers; Melbourne-based Artist in Residence Kat Ashworth, Taryn Lane and Deb Salvagno. Between March and June 2012, these women worked collaboratively with hand-weavers from the Feto Kiak Buka Moris group in Lospalos to develop a collection of exquisite tais using traditional dyeing and weaving methods. Simultaneously, Kat designed an inspired collection of striking clothing and accessories using the exquisite Fo Ba Malu tais.
Both the tais and the product range culminated in an integrated cultural arts exhibition, which was officially launched in Lospalos, Timor-Leste on the 16th June. The project was supported by AusAid through their Direct Aid Program.
The Fo Ba Malu range will expand and transform over time. It will continue to respect and maintain the customary elements of traditional East Timorese cloth. It effectively combines culture and commerce to affect broad community and economic development outcomes for rural hand-weavers in Tmor-Leste. The Feto Faluk weavers from Cainliu village in the remote sub-district of Iliomar are completing their first batch of tais using similar methods.
The project built on research undertaken during the previous year to establish fair trade pricing for tais. This research and its findings are critical to economic justice for Timor's hand-weavers and was the first of its kind in Timor-Leste.