DELFIM FERREIRA AND TSA-NT: Bring it into harmony, unity and respect.
Delfim from Timorese Students Association in the Northern Territory (TSA-NT) said “unity, harmony and respect are the fundamentals of this organization”. Here, he chats with Laurentino Bento.
“Commit to get involved in an organization, it means that you are studying to enhance your communication skills”
While we enjoy the beautiful sunset on afternoon, having a chance to chat with a wise man is a remarkable time.
With a big smile on her face, this fine gentleman greets me confidently. He firmly tries to open the conversation about the TSA-NT. He turns and says, “It is a beautiful sunset. This is what I feel the harmony and peace come together”.
On his hospitality, he offers me a cup of tea before we start talk about the TSA-NT. The interview starts to flow as I conveniently explain to him about this writing. Then, It follows by one question and other questions, that I feel necessary to get deepest insight about TSA-NT.
Q: I did a little bit observation with your organization; I found that now you are involving in an organization called TSA-NT. Can you tell me a little bit about TSA-NT?
Delfim: The TSA was formed by the Timorese students who are studying at Charles Darwin University and any other high schools in the Northern Territory. The idea came from some students who want to form this organization. The reason behind this is to preserve the unity among Timorese students. As a result of first general meeting on 28 July 2013, we, for the first time, established the TSA-NT which stands for Timorese Students Association-Northern Territory.
Q: How did you become involved with The TSA-NT?
Delfim: I became involved as a member of ad-hock committee before I was elected as President of the TSA-NT. We start this organization to accommodate Timorese students who are studying in the NT through education, culture and social relationships.
Q: What are the goals of the TSA-NT?
Delfim: Our goals are to strengthen the unity and friendships of Timorese students in the NT. The philosophy of this organization is unity, harmony and respect.
Q: Can you tell me about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run?
Delfim: Well, the programs of the TSA-NT are supporting education, social, cultural, and sport.
Q: What is the structure of the organization?
Delfim: Mainly, the TSA-NT consists of President, vice president, secretary and treasury. Also we do have focal-point for each group of students. All students, who are currently studying at CDU or in The NT, can become membership of this organization. Now, we reach approximately 30 members in TSA-NT. We do expect all the TSA members to actively participate and involves in TSA-NT’s programs.
Q: Are the work times flexible or fixed?
Delfim: The TSA-NT’s memberships are volunteer and flexible. We only run the work of organization mostly in the free time (weekends or holiday). The most time of the members is to focus on their study as first priority.
Q: What skills or qualities can members develop as a result of working with the organization?
Delfim: Communication skill is mostly important and expected to derive from this organization. For example, a member would learn how to deal with our stakeholders or communities.
Q: How does the organization interact with the surrounding community?
Delfim: One of our objectives is to establish and maintain communication between all Timorese Students and the local Timorese community in Darwin and other community groups.
Q: Anyway, when it comes to operating, how would your organization fund the programs?
Delfim: The TSA-NT organisation is actually not profit organization and we don’t have funding agency, but we have established regular monthly collection of $10 of each membership.
Q: What are the main challenges that inhibit the fulfilment of your mission? And how are you planning to overcome them?
Delfim: I think we actually have some main challenges, such as, to schedule activities because we have different time schedules on campus, works and other activities, and to fund activities because we needed to support some activities these require huge cost. In order to overcome these challenges, we have to adjust the TSA-NT’s programs with schedule of each member. We also need to apply for possible funds or conduct fundraising events.
Q: Where is your leadership team strong, and where does it need development?
Delfim: Well, I am willing to work hard and contribute to the good of this organisation. I fully have commitment and responsibility to run this organization. I also actually learn more on how I can improve my leadership skills. I would be happy if the member of this organization may need to develop their skills and knowledge through academic and non-academic activities as well. In general, we do need to learn more about how to improve our personal and organizational performance to accomplish a goal.
Q: To what degree have you attracted new people and new ideas to your organization?
Delfim: We do attract the new member to enrol by informing through social media such as, blog and Facebook and sometimes we approach and give information to students individually. Moreover, we do have informal meeting, to discuss and develop ideas to our organization in the future.
Q: Well, this is the last question. How do you balance your time between study, organization and family or friends?
Delfim: Yeah, I mostly spend more times in my study, while I have a commitment to work on this organization. I also attend several meetings, and participate in social events in Timorese community such as celebration of our Independence Day, church and cultural performance. It is important for me to communicate intensively with my family in regard I am far from my home country. Thankfully, we communicate via Facebook and Skype.
International House Darwin (IHD), Casuarina, Darwin