The Project

Our Lady of Fatima Railaco Jesuit Parish has requested a Mechanic to provide mentoring and training of three local Timorese staff responsible for the repair and maintenance of Parish vehicles.  The Parish vehicles provide an important means for pastoral outreach as well as the mobile clinic which travels to 11 mountainous areas: Gmanhati, Nasuta, Leorema, Fahiten, Leboloa, areas belonging to Liquica district:  Dasarlaco, Tocoluli, Caitarahae, Cocoa, Lebdodon, Taraso, and areas in Railaco.

The Location

Railaco is one of five administrative posts within the District of Ermera approximately 40 kms from Dili [Capital of Timor Leste].   The population of the mountainous Ermera municipality is estimated at 136,010 (Census 2015 – projection for 2019)  Languages spoken include Tetun, Mambae and Kemak dialects. Ermera is well-known as the municipality with the biggest coffee production in the country and some of it is exported internationally.  In addition, Ermera produces vegetable and fruits.

The Challenge

Timor-Leste has significant skill shortages and gaps including technical and trade skills. Like many developing countries, Timor-Leste has a population structure in which children and youth dominate, with 39% of Timorese aged below 15 years and a further 21% aged 15–24. Inequalities between urban and rural Timor-Leste have been a persistent feature of the social landscape.

In recent years, funding efforts by the national government to improve living standards beyond the urban concentrations have had positive impacts. New schools; village health clinics; the roll-out of electricity transmission services; and the expansion of social payments to pensioners, veterans and village labour projects have made substantial contributions to improving rural household well-being.  But inequalities persist, and one visible response to endemic levels of rural poverty has been a sustained rural–urban drift, both from the hinterland to district townships and from the remote uplands to Dili, the national capital, and especially by young people.

The opportunity to build and consolidate mechanical trade skills in the Railaco area will provide practical learning and income earning opportunities for rural youth.

About You

Railaco Catholic Parish has requested a suitably qualified and/or experienced mechanic. The successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • Relevant qualifications and/or experience in vehicle maintenance, repair and vehicle technology
  • Mentoring experience [desirable]
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity and open to working cross culturally
  • Willingness to engage your Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role
  • Willingness to share your skills in Timor Leste for a minimum of 12 months [two years preferable]

How You Will Help

Through your placement you will contribute to:

  • Skilled workers crucial for sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Timor Leste.
  • Provide training for young people in a rural context where opportunities are minimal
  • Support pastoral and health programs through vehicle maintenance and repair


Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

To find out more or to apply, please contact Christine O’Halloran, Program & Placement Coordinator on 02 9560 5333 or at [email protected].

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    I am not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.I am a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.
    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.