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Order of Malta Australia


Creating Leaders Scholarships – breaking the poverty cycle


Creating Leaders is an Order of Malta scholarship program in Timor-Leste. The Scholarships support underprivileged children to participate in formal continuing education.

Like many developing countries, Timor-Leste has high levels of poverty and low national human development. Education is an important vehicle to employment, independence, social and political empowerment and consequently, national development. However, a cycle of poverty often creates barriers to the children’s participation in education.

The program aims to assist the scholarship children develop to their full potential and prepare them for taking a fundamental role in the leadership of their country, so that they become positive agents of change and progress.

 The scholarships provide not only the payment of school fees, but other assistance and support to help the children overcome barriers that would prevent their participation in education, such as transport, uniforms and meals.

Sponsoring a child in the Creating Leaders Program costs $100 per month and is tax deductible.

 Meet some of our Scholarship students:

Joanina is 16 years old has been in the Order of Malta Creating Leaders program since 2017.

Joanina lives with her mother, a widow, and her eight siblings in Bebonuk. Her mother is a gardener and struggles to make enough to support the family.

With the help of the Creating Leaders program, Joanina can attend school where her favourite subject is biology. She continues to strive for excellence in her studies and hopes to one day become a doctor, so she can help her family and community.

“The Scholarship… allows me to attend school like my other friends, and it motivates me to be more active in my studies” – Valeria (pictured middle holding paper, demonstrating Chemistry experiment).

Valeria, aged 16, joined the Creating Leaders scholarship program after her stepfather became ill and lost the ability to work, taking away the income used to support her education. Her mother tries to make ends meet for her family of seven, by baking and selling cakes.

Valeria aspires to become a veterinarian as she has a love for all animals.

“My Scholarship… has given me a sense of peace as I don’t need to excessively worry about the financial aspects of my education” – Agario (pictured a holding the balloon during a class experiment).

Agario joined the Creating Leaders program in 2022. He is 16 years old, and is one of seven children in his family. He lives with his widowed mother and four of his siblings. Due to financial difficulty, his eldest brother and youngest sister live with an uncle in a distant city.

Agario dreams of one day becoming a doctor so that he can help support and care for the people of Timor-Leste. He is a keen student and participates in public speaking, is on the student council and is also involved in a variety of sports activities at school.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.