Farewell to Alzira

Alola Australia honours an inspirational leader and very special friend

“Our women are the mothers of our nation.  From strong women a great nation is born”

At the end of July, Alzira Reis, CEO of Fundasaun Alola in Timor-Leste,said farewell to the organisation she has been a part of and led for many years. Alzira is well known to many of us in Australia.  She has visited many times to speak at events, to meet with key organisations and to thank Alola supporters and friends.

Alzira grew up in a village in Baucau Municipality, alongside two brothers and three sisters.  She and her husband Helder have two children.  She has a law degree and she joined the staff of Alola in 2003. Over 16 years Alzira has worked as Advocacy Program Manager and the CEO.

Under Alzira’ s leadership Fundasaun Alola has continued to become a most impressive and strategic organisation in:

-Women’s rights and equality

-Women’s leadership and empowerment

-The integration of Alola’s four cutting edge programs

-Making a difference to the lives of women, children and families

-Influencing the political, economic and social structures of Timor-Leste.

As well as leading Alola, Alzira plays a leadership role on the boards of other organisations: Rede Feto, ALFeLA, Pradet and Centro Nacional Chega.

We remember Alzira’s powerful words at our annual fundraising dinners and in particular last October: “Our women are the mothers of our nation.  From strong women a great nation is born”

Alola Australia will very much miss working closely with Alzira and we thank her for sharing her insights and convictions with us.  We have learnt so much from Alzira and we treasure these learnings.

We wish Alzira well with the next phase of her journey as she continues to contribute to Timor-Leste’s future.Aliza has many friends in Australia beyond Alola Australia and we know they also send appreciation and best wishes to Alzira.

Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão, AO, who founded the Alola Foundation in 2001, continues to be the Chair.  Kirsty and the Fundasaun Alola Board are currently recruiting for a new CEO. Kirsty has said she will miss Alzira at Alola but will keep in contact with her when she visits Dili.