Our Vision

An ever growing mutual relationship between FPET members and supporters in Australia and the people of the western border region of East Timor that bears witness to Christian love by each group being sensitive, understanding and responsive to the needs of each other.

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In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI calls the whole Catholic Church to a deeper understanding of love by exploring the connection between human love, divine love and Christian charity.

Pope Benedict places charity and love at the heart of the Church’s activities and provides clear guidance for all involved in charitable works. The encyclical sets out the ideal for members of Catholic charitable organisations and individual Catholics, religious and lay, regarding charitable works.

Section 33 which is quoted below sets out clearly and precisely the attitude and motivation to which FPET aspires.

With regard to the personnel who carry out the Church’s charitable activity on the practical level, the essential has already been said: they must not be inspired by ideologies aimed at improving the world, but should rather be guided by the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6).

Consequently, more than anything, they must be persons moved by Christ’s love, persons whose hearts Christ has conquered with his love, awakening within them a love of neighbour.

The criterion inspiring their activity should be Saint Paul’s statement in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: ‘the love of Christ urges us on’ (5:14).

The consciousness that, in Christ, God has given himself for us, even unto death, must inspire us to live no longer for ourselves but for him, and, with him, for others.

The above quote can be better understood by study of the whole of this very timely encyclical which speaks clearly on human love, love of God and love of neighbour.

Some FPET members at the Annual General Meeting.

Our beginning

FPET is a Brisbane based non-profit organisation working in partnership with others in Australia and East Timor but especially with the people of Atabae Parish to re-establish self-sustaining communities in the Atabae subdistrict. This subdistrict is part of the Bobonaro district which abuts the border of Indonesian West Timor. FPET members mainly come from the Brisbane Catholic parishes of St. Johns Wood – The Gap and Bardon. Others come from the parishes of Bracken Ridge, Dorrington, Enoggera and Enoggera Army Barracks. Support is also received from other Catholic and Christian communities and individuals who are committed to helping the East Timorese people rebuild their communities.

The organisation started informally in 2000 when we first became more aware of the problems of the East Timorese people through the Australian army personnel relating the situation to Catholic communities in Brisbane. This led to a visit of three Brisbane people to Atabae, a village near the West Timor border, to try to understand how we could ease the problems there. FPET was formally incorporated as an organisation in 2001 soon after that visit to East Timor was completed. It has since focussed on working with the people of the Atabae subdistrict.

It was obvious that there were more problems than a small volunteer group could manage but a commitment was made to develop a relationship and work with the people there. The main plea of the East Timorese at that time was “PLEASE DO NOT FORGET US” and this has remained as the underlying basis of the relationship which has continued to develop since then. Unfortunately, many others who visited East Timor around that time did not return.

The relationship is firstly based on a faith commitment to the universal nature of the Catholic Church and the resulting obligation to work together for the mutual benefit of all people. The barriers of distance, language, lack of communication facilities and terrible roads in East Timor have all presented difficulties but the relationship continues to grow and mature. The Catholic Church played a vital role in maintaining the hope of the East Timorese during the years of Indonesian occupation and continues to be a major player in the establishment of East Timor as a truly free and independent country.

Collaboration

We try to work closely with the government, other organisations and community leaders in restoring the country and supporting the local communities. While initially quite preoccupied in helping with famine relief and providing basic necessities for survival, we are now looking much more toward building self sustaining communities.

We have gained many benefits from collaboration with PALMS Australia including the ability to handle tax deductible donations for the Atabae community. PALMS is an extremely valuable partner in our work and enables us to have Australian sourced volunteers lining in the Atabae community with professional support. PALMS also advises us on the selection and implementation of our community development projects. More information about PALMS is available on the PALMS website. NOTE: Throughout this website bold links without underlining (like this one) open in a separate tab or window.

Membership and Meetings

You are most welcome to come as a visitor to one of our meetings if you are in Brisbane and have an interest in our activities. You may then also wish to consider applying for membership of our organisation.

FPET meets in the Mater Dei Church meeting room, Philomene Drive, Ashgrove West, at 7:30 pm on the second Monday of each month except January.

Please note that any changes to meeting arrangements will be displayed here and temporarily at the top of the home page. Meeting date, time or location is rarely changed.

Applications for membership (currently $25 per year) may be made through current members or by contacting us through the e-mail link below or by writing to the FPET Secretary, PO Box 281, ASHGROVE WEST, QLD 4060.

If you want a small tri-fold A4 leaflet summarising the FPET organisation, there is a printable PDF file (572KB) which you can download from here.