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General Board Member

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Organisation : East Timor Hearts Fund

Location : Melbourne (Melbourne)

Work type : Various

Sector : Foundations, Trusts & Philanthropy

Salary type : Volunteer

Application closing date : 5 Aug, 2019

About the role

East Timor Hearts Fund board roles are voluntary and require a considerable time commitment. This includes attendance at meetings, meeting preparation, service on board committees, active involvement in board projects and events and involvement in organisational events, including fundraising activities.

The board oversees and sets the policy direction for the organisation. A key task is the implementation of the 2017-20 Strategic Plan.

Board directors are expected to fulfill the following general duties:
– Attend all bi-monthly board meetings in person and actively contribute to discussion and projects.
– Serve on a board committee, attend all meetings and actively contribute to discussion and projects.
– Make an active effort to stay informed about the board and organisation; be fully prepared for meetings.

– Contribute to discussions and board decision-making, both within and outside any personal area of specialty or qualification.
– Actively get to know other board members and build collegiate working relationships that contribute to robust decision-making and good outcomes for the organisation.
– Actively participate in board evaluation and planning exercises.
– Participate in fundraising activities and events and use networks to secure financial and pro-bono support for the organisation. All directors are required to contribute to organisational fundraising goal and to open up their networks to the organisation.
– Attend self-funded orientation activities, including a visit to Timor-Leste within six months of joining the board.


Strategic Direction

East Timor Hearts Fund is guided by its 2017-20 strategic plan, which outlines a continued phased transition to predominately in-country rather than Australian surgery and increased work in preventative health and education.

This approach aims to support the development of capacity in Timor-Leste and tackle the root causes of poor heart health. Details about the strategic plan are on the website at

Recent achievements include:

– Funding and coordinating a landmark rheumatic heart disease prevalence study, which was published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2018. East Timor Hearts Fund has since been appointed, alongside the World Health Organisation, to support the Government of Timor-Leste in developing its first rheumatic heart disease action plan.
– Conducting its first ever in-country surgical mission in 2018, in partnership with Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares, with 10 children given life-saving surgery in give days – more patients than are usually treated in a year.
– Initiating a life-saving preventative penicillin program, providing monthly shots to at-risk young people to stop their heart disease from progressing.
– Professionalisation of the organisation, with the appointment of a highly skilled CEO in February 2017.
– Transitioning to a fully skills-based board, and initiating other governance reforms, including three active board committees.
– Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Timor-Leste’s major public hospital, Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares.

About the organisation

Organisation Name : East Timor Hearts Fund

East Timor Hearts Fund is Australia’s only medical NGO dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery for young people from Timor-Leste (East Timor), as well as heart-health research, prevention, education and advocacy.

The organisation is a company limited by guarantee and has tax endorsements from the Australian Tax Office, including DGR.

Its patron is the “Father of Timor-Leste”, HE Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao. Its ambassadors are the Western Bulldogs’ Lin Jong, Australia’s only Timorese-Australian AFL player and Timorese cycling champion and athlete Anche Cabral.

East Timor Hearts Fund is a volunteer-driven organisation (it has a CEO and a part-time operations manager) and utilises volunteers for all medical and many administrative functions. Its volunteer medical team visit Timor-Leste at least three times a year, to conduct screening clinics to identify patients suitable for surgery in Australia or Timor-Leste. Since its informal establishment in 2010 the organisation provided life-saving heart surgery in Australia and Timor-Leste for more than 100 patients. Post-surgery, patients are able to return to school, work and university, and contribute to their families, community and country. An independent social return on investment study found that every dollar invested, East Timor Hearts Fund’s program returns nine dollars in health and social benefits.

How to apply

Applications not allowed for this job listing.

Please quote in application: General Board Member via Pro Bono Australia.



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