Issue 3
Monday, 27 March 2017
Charles Darwin University
The proposed Dili academy will help conserve traditional Timor-Leste arts and culture
The proposed Dili academy will help conserve traditional Timor-Leste arts and culture

Bringing out the best in Timor-Leste

By Andrew Hall

Charles Darwin University has taken an important step towards facilitating the creation of an arts academy in Timor-Leste.

Professor Martin Jarvis has written a final-draft conceptualisation and implementation document for the proposed Timor-Leste Academy of Art and Cultural Creative Industries.

The document presents a vision for the broad-based academy, which will teach the traditional Timor-Leste crafts and art forms, plus the contemporary art forms of music, dance and visual arts.

The Timor-Leste Government has funded Professor Jarvis’s research to develop the project to its current stage.

“The idea of the academy dates back to about 2009 when former Timor-Leste President Xanana Gusmão expressed concern that the culture and traditions of the fledgling nation might disappear,” Professor Jarvis said.

“Research about how to bring such an institution to fruition and fulfil its goals with regard to higher education outcomes went through several iterations before it came to us in June 2016.

“My job was to translate all the work that had gone on before CDU took over the project into a workable plan.”

The document, which outlines higher education courses and their unit components, was presented to Timor-Leste’s Council of Ministers in late February.

“Presidential and governmental elections are to be held in Timor-Leste in the next few months so we will have to wait a while before we can move to the construction phase of the academy,” Professor Jarvis said.

“But from the feedback I have received to date, I am confident that the academy will open, hopefully, in 2018.”