Mrs Madalena Costa Soares

Continuous learning makes me confident to face the many challenges of contributing to the nation’s development

Madalena Costa SoaresMadalena F.M.Hanjan Costa Soares was born in Turiscai on 2 March 1964, to a widowed mother who struggled with supporting eight of her children after her husband, a Red Cross nurse died during the war in 1975.

Despite the hardship faced while growing up, Madalena followed in her father’s footsteps by furthering her studies at the Nursing Academy and specialising in the Nursing Clinical field and pedagogy, which enabled her to work as a Nurse Educator. She later rose up to become the Nursing Director from 1996 until 1999. In 2002, she received a scholarship from the Australian Government and continued her studies in the Australian Catholic University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2005. Hungry for knowledge, she continued on her learning journey with Charles Darwin University and graduated with a Masters degree in Public Policy in 2012.

With her passion of making a difference to the society and armed with two qualifications, she served her country and contributed to its development in many different forms for decades, working as a Program Assistant for the Maternal and Child Health Program along with the United Nations. She also served as a National Consultant for hospital services and NGOs as well. Madalena was nominated as the Vice Minister of Health for Timor-Leste. During her mandate as the Vice Minister, Madalena was also elected as the first Vice President to the Executive Board of WHO in Geneva through SEARO.

Upon completion of her ministerial mandate, Madalena was appointed as the Deputy National Authorizing Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste. She was responsible for the European Development Fund (EDF) in Timor-Leste from 2013-2016, after which she ceased her career in the public sector.

In 2016, Madalena decided to open up her own consultancy company in advocating nutritional programs and clinical services for Palliative Care.  At the same time, she is actively working as a volunteer to the Timor-Leste Red Cross, facilitating any activities requiring technical assistant in management.

She believes that to succeed in this era, individuals should tap on their experiences gained from various fields and empower themselves to reach their fullest potential in all matters. Her message for the youths is to push themselves in becoming volunteers to enhance their problem-solving skills, to address challenges and shape their own futures.