Holy Cross Parish in Maliana, Timor Leste, faces skills shortages in the roles of finance and business administration. Staff with financial literacy often leave for work in the capital, Dili, or for higher paying finance and accounting positions in international organisations or the private sector. In addition, the parish, like many local offices of international organisations, has many reporting obligations that must be completed in English. This includes financial acquittals to foreign donors and to authorities in Rome. While staff knowledge of English is quite good, the level of English language required for effective and influential report writing can always be developed.
Holy Cross has requested a qualified finance and business mentor to develop the financial literacy and accounting skills of local staff and to develop a strategy for the training of new staff in these administrative processes.
How We’re Helping
In July 2019 Palms Australia recruited Dianne Hanna, an experienced accountant with qualifications in education, to develop staff financial processes over 2 years. In this time, Dianne will:
- improve financial capacity of our staff within the parish and local school so that financial statements can be prepared and communicated with key stakeholders in order to improve relationships through greater transparency.
- develop the capacity of the parish finance council to establish guidelines consistent with the Diocesan requirements and consult with and communicate regularly with the parish community regarding the parish activities.
- strengthen relationships with donors and co-ordinate community activities with the local community and international donors so as to develop the parish and achieve parish and community outcomes.
Parish staff will be able to efficiently and accurately manage parish finances and prepare appropriate reports to demonstrate this management.
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Due to Covid-19, Dianne was repatriated back to Australia earlier this year. She eagerly awaits to return to the field when it is safe to do so.
Is the Project Sustainable?
It is the goal of Holy Cross parish to be able to provide employment opportunities for local post-secondary school students and being able to develop a process of on-boarding local staff into this finance and administration position is key to this goal. Throughout this 2 year project, the parish will assess the viability of localising the role, with the aim of fully localising these responsibilities within 5 years.