UTS MediaLab & MAP Graduate donate to East Timor
UTS Master of Media Arts and Production Graduate, Abilio Soares, recently flew to East Timor with 10 video cameras donated to train future journalists in East Timor.
The cameras, provided by UTS, are being used in a program facilitated by UNESCO.
Soares has been contracted by UNESCO to provide training for 70 students and 13 National University of East Timor (UNTL) staff on how to use the cameras.
“These cameras will be very useful to let the East Timorese people know what is happening,” he says of the longer-term impact.
For the past two years, UTS academics have visited East Timor to teach local students how best to use cameras donated from the university’s MediaLab, and how to and craft news stories and packages.
UTS updates its camera equipment every five to seven years, to stay in touch with industry standards, but the MediaLab was happy to see the older equipment put to good use elsewhere.
Miguel Valenzuela, UTS MediaLab video co-ordinator, said the idea of donating to East Timor arose in 2016 when Soares was finishing his degree.
“We got chatting and came round to the idea that maybe UNTL could use the equipment,” he says.
“I went over for the first time in 2016. We ran a week of workshops and classes -- train the trainer classes and actual training for students. After the week’s training, they became proficient in using the cameras. It was mostly technical training in trying to get them up to speed with the equipment, with the understanding they would then be learning how to film packages through their courses with UNTL."
Seeing students at the UTS campus benefit from their access to quality equipment and then go on to develop their skills and move into the industry had been the inspiration for the donation - Miguel Valenzuela
“Knowing the history of Australian involvement in Timor, and the underlying relationship that’s valued by the Timorese, we thought we should be mindful of that,” he said.