1 April 2014



The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), in collaboration with Commissão Nacional de Eleições (CNE) and Secretariado Técnico da Administração Eleitoral (STAE), is conducting the Civic Education and Voter Information Modules of BRIDGE – Building Resources in Democracy Governance and Elections.

Two workshops were conducted from 3-7 March and 10-13 March 2014 in Dili at the Joao Paulo II training centre in Rai Kotu. Each workshop trained and supported 30 participants to broaden their understanding, knowledge and experience.

The workshop explored principles of civic education and voter information and investigated different types of civic education and voter information programs. It developed planning and design skills for application to civic education and voter information programs.

This professional development and networking enables skilled and committed staff to apply BRIDGE learning in their important civic education and voter information work in preparation towards future elections to come in Timor-Leste.

The workshop was really high profile with opening guests including the Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Mr Peter Doyle and the Minister for State Administration Mr Jorge da Conceição Teme.

All fantastic facilitators made the workshop successful: Cate Thompson ( preparation week and first half week of week one workshop) Augusto Pereira, Michael Miller, Ivo Rangel, Jose Soares Fonseca (CNE), Melina dos Reis (CNE). The workshop gave opportunity for 4 semi accredited facilitators to get their BRIDGE Workshop Facilitator accreditation. They are: Agostinho da Cunha (STAE), Karceres Ximenes (STAE), Donata da Costa Marques (STAE), Pedro Laurentino da Silva (civil society).

Here are impressions of facilitators:

Ivo Rangel said, “Self-confidence in facilitating a BRIDGE workshop was considerably low at the start especially when we haven’t done BRIDGE for quite some time. When we got to the second day of the workshop, the self-confidence started to build up slowly. At the last day of each workshop we got our full confidence. The key contributing factors to the gaining of self-confidence are support from other facilitators and participatory involvement of the participants.”

Pedro Laurentino said: “Participants came with different number years of experience with electoral knowledge. The workshop facilitated the sharing of knowledge within participants. The facilitators from CNE and STAE confronted challenges like attitudes and behaviours of the senior and more experience participants who have attended BRIDGE workshops multiple times. However, during the daily facilitators’ reflections we encouraged each other that those challenges could only make us strong and become better facilitators.”

Some participants commented: BRIDGE is fun in learning important aspects of electoral systems and participation in democracy.

BRIDGE is about professional development with high team spirit and team work.

BRIDGE is building networks among electoral stakeholders to promote Human Rights, Roles and Responsibilities of citizens.

BRIDGE is about building trust and confidence among the BRIDGE facilitators.


Jose Soares Fonseca wrote: “I would like to thank lead facilitator and my superiors at CNE to allow me to join two week workshop. I have been very happy, joy and proud to working with such lively, supportive and strong team work. It has been very comfortable and confident to facilitate sessions and most importantly has been new learning experience to working with new facilitators from STAE, CNE and AEC and also with most experience and critical participants.”

Melina dos Reis wrote: “I thank you maun Augusto for selecting and inviting myself to join most prestigious facilitator team. Three week event has been very important learning experience for my personal development. Let me quote mana Cate for her courageous and supportive statement “plant your feet strongly while presenting is very important to build your self-confident”. Thank you Mana I love it.

Agostinho da Cunha said: “I acknowledge that I have my own limitations however most important joy for me was all supportive and appreciation opportunity to get through two week experience. I deeply thanked each of my fellow facilitators.

“It has been fantastic and positive learning experience for me to working with team, individual facilitator, participants during two week workshop. Most important I would like to share are: manage my time, prepare venue for participants, prepare my presentation concepts, use appropriate language for my presentations. I was really worried that I would not make it through, however it was other way around, I made it through with positive motivations and courage from Mana Cate, Maun Michael and Maun Augusto and other facilitators. It was best learning experience for me to have it.” Stated by Donata de Carvalho Marques.

Karceres Ximenes said: “Three weeks to work with unified facilitator team does not make me feel tired at all. As Semi-accredited Facilitator I was worried that I may not have enough chance to make myself through next level. I found something in BRIDGE which makes people happy is valuing facilitators, participants and team work made everyone appreciate valuable BRIDGE for their life. I hope I will get another chance to facilitate different module in future.”

Augusto Pereira stated: “BRIDGE is a great capacity development tool to develop readiness of human resource and strengthening electoral institutions and its partners. It is also important to acknowledge that BRIDGE has been a good tool for conciliatory processes in Timor-Leste in the election field both at human resource development and institutional strengthening, which finally produces elections according to international standard best practice. Therefore it is very good to repeat the famous election song for two week workshop from Mana Cate Thompson (to the tune of You are my Sunshine) and translated into Tetun by Pedro Laurentino below:

We love elections

They are our passion

They make us happy

Because we’re free

To make our choices

And use our voices

Sing Timor-Leste to democracy

To make our choices

And use our voices

Sing Timor-Leste to democracy




































Audience(s) for this workshop:
Modules used at this workshop:
Expected Outcomes: