Walk to save a life

For the last few years the IPDC Trek for Timor fundraising event has been a walk from Kalamunda to Forrestfield, through the Lesmurdie National Park. This year for the Perth trek there was a change of scenery, with the walk incorporating the Bridges River walk starting at Mount Pleasant Uniting Church, walking around the Mount Henry and Canning Bridges, taking in views of the Canning River. This family friendly and accessible walk was not only be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, it was an opportunity to raise funds for the Mobile Health Clinic in East Timor.

Treks are the Commission’s regular way of raising funds to support the Mobile Health Clinic run by our Uniting Church partners in East Timor, Fundaçoun Lafaek Diak (FLD – the Good Crocodile Foundation). The mobile clinic goes out to a remote community twice a week from its base in Triloca (out of Baucau). The roads are rough tracks in many places and so very hard on the vehicle. Our efforts support the driver’s salary and maintenance on the vehicle.

The two events that were held in 2023 combined have raised almost half of the Uniting Church’s annual partnership commitment of $10,000 for the continuing support of the Fundaçoun Lafaek Diak Mobile Medical Clinic and the health education program.

Members of the IPDC sub-committee shared their experiences of the Perth trek:

Early November is a busy time of year, particularly as weekend activities increase in the warmer weather closer to Christmas. But Sunday 5 November was a beautiful day with warm sun, cool breezes and an enthusiastic group to do a serious hike of about seven and a half kilometers to bless the work of Fundacao Lafaek Diak (FLD) in East Timor. Equally appreciated, was the support from Mt. Pleasant Uniting whose facility was offered, and from the kitchens of the folk from the St Martin’s Foothills Uniting Church.
The enthusiasm from Alison Dyall for the work of FLD was infectious and set the tone for a great atmosphere and determined effort of the hikers. After about 90 minutes of hiking, which went along the shores of the Canning River, the first hikers returned to much applause from the ‘gallery’ and to a well earned cuppa and amazing afternoon tea.
We’re grateful to have this special focus and opportunity here in WA to acknowledge and support the team at FLD in their vital work, meeting medical and educational needs in more remote areas of East Timor.

Rev Mervyn and Vivienne Anderson, feeling privileged to be involved.
Alison Dyall with Rev Claire Pickering, Minister of Mt Pleasant Uniting Church, who was presented with a scarf in thanks of her support of the event.

The Trek for Timor was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The walkers came prepared with hats and sunscreen and the mood was merry as we set off feeling thankful that the weather was ten degrees cooler than the previous day.
In the course of a very pleasant walk, I linked up with groups comprised of all the different walkers and had the opportunity to chat to lots of people who were not previously well known to me. The trek raised a large sum of money for the support of the mobile health team in Timor Leste, and we all benefited from the great spirit of fellowship and camaraderie as we got to know one another along the way.
So many people had a part in the trek. The energetic ones walked, but many were at the church to check us in and see us off at the beginning of the event, and on our return Nely and the team from St Martin’s Foothills church laid out a scrumptious afternoon tea which revived even the most weary amongst us.
My thanks go to Alison Dyall and her wonderful team who organised such a fun event to support this deserving cause. The partners of the Uniting Church WA Synod in Timor Leste are performing a wonderful service to the people of their remote communities by providing this precious access to health care. Without the support from WA their job would be so much harder. A big vote of thanks to all concerned!

Lee-Anne Burnett
Trek 4 Timor Perth – participants enjoying the Bridges River Walk.

The St Martin’s Foothills Uniting Church congregation in Forrestfield has for many years had a heart for the work done in East Timor. Our congregation includes in their yearly budget a financial support for the work of Lafaek Diak. So, it is only natural that we are so happy to be involved with the Trek for Timor. Providing a delicious afternoon tea for the trekkers, initially at our church in Forrestfield and then this year at the Mt Pleasant Uniting Church – the new finish line for the trek. It has always been our delight and privilege. For the members of our congregation, it is an opportunity to share in the wider mission of the church and we will gladly continue to do so in the years to come.

Nely Watson
St Martin’s Forrestfield Uniting Church with Timor Leste wristbands

This year 2023, the IPDC East Timor sub-committee ran two Treks for Timor, one in the South West at Crooked Brook and one in Perth round the Canning and Mt Henry bridges. Both were successful in terms of enjoyment, fellowship and fund-raising. When all the donations roll in we will have raised almost half of our annual commitment of $10,000 for the continuing support of the Fundacoun Lafaek Diak Mobile Medical Clinic and the health education program.
Many, many thanks to all those who made it possible – the Monaghan family and friends in the South West and the IPDC members, St Martin’s Foothills and Mount Pleasant congregations, and Rob and Nely Watson along with Mervyn and Vivienne Anderson on the planning side and Wendy Hendry on the technical support in Perth. It’s wonderful to work with such enthusiastic, committed and supportive people.

Alison Dyall

Scenes from Trek 4 Timor South West

On Sunday 1 October an enthusiastic group of people gathered in the Crooked Brook Forest near Bunbury to walk for a cause. This is the first time the Trek 4 Timor has taken place in the south west and an enjoyable day was had by all involved. The participants were treated to some beautiful wildflowers along the way!

Thanks to Liam Cain and Kate Monaghan for the photos from the south west trek!

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