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Order of Malta Australia


Creating Leaders Update: Maria’s experiences at University


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

We recently received a letter from one of our Creating Leaders ‘graduates’ Maria, who is now studying medicine at university in Portugal. She is a wonderful example of what the children in the scholarship are able to achieve and we have shared her letter below – I hope you find it inspiring!

Dear Order of Malta,

First of all, I would like to thank you for every help you gave me since my 10th grade.

Since my arrival here in Lisbon, everything changed. I had to learn how to be more independent and it was difficult, being far from home, from family, friends and Dili’s environment. So, the first weeks were the hardest ones.

My first semester was the worst because it was my first time facing college life and to be among some of the best students in Portugal made me feel some pressure. But what made me overcome all this was the affection I received from the older students and some professors which it helped me a lot. So, my first semester went fast and now I’m facing 2nd semester’s season. This semester is calmer.

During my studies here, I participate in some school events, one of them is “Hospital da Bonecada” (“Toy’s hospital”). It’s an event organised by the college students’ association that aims to “take the children’s’ fear of the white coat” by giving consultations to their dolls. And in another way, this helped me getting closer to a “doctor’s life”.

Concluding, it’s difficult but I’m going in the right direction and that’s all that matters.

And I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have your help. So, once again, thank you!


Maria Sarmento


Interested in learning more about our Creating Leaders Scholarships? Download our  Creating Leaders Brochure

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.