This page lists resources we have created or found useful in our work to promote and support cultural-assets based community development.


Strengthening connection to heritage

Web resourceelements of endangered cultural expression of the Fataluku people.
This new web resource documents 31 elements of endangered forms of cultural expression of the Fatakuku people of far eastern Timor Leste, identified through a research project undertaken by Many Hands International. The site includes articles and reports on this topic too.
Web rekursu ne'e dokumentu elementu 30 konaba kultura Fataluku ne’ebe ameasandu atu lakon, identifika husi projetu peskiza husi Many Hands International.

Dunphy, K., da Silva, I., Pereira, N., Lopes, T., no Schauble, H. (2017). Reprezentasaun arte fatuk iha kostume kulturál ema Fataluku iha Tutuala, Lautem. in Peter Job, Antero B. da Silva, Nuno Canas Mendes, Alarico da Costa Ximenes, Mica Barreto Soares, Sara Niner, and Therese Tam (ed). Refereed proceedings of the Timor-Leste Studies Association’s Conference 29-30 June 2017. Melbourne: Timor Leste Studies Association. 

Reid, M. (2017). Visibility and cultural voice in Fataluku country Timor-Leste.  Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. 14(4) 25-33.
This article by former MHI volunteer Marian Reid  explores the intersection of digital visual communication and traditional culture in the Fataluku community of Lautem.

Dunphy, K., Da Silva, I., Pereira, N., Schauble, H. & Toumbourou, T. (2017). Safeguarding the critically endangered cultural heritage of the Fataluku people: an e-inventory of intangible cultural elements,  and  A salvaguarda do património cultural criticamente ameaçado do povo Fataluku: um e-inventário de elementos culturais imateriaisMemoriamedia Art project, 1(3). 
This publication in English and Portuguese documents the development of our resource, e-inventory of intangible cultural elements of the Fataluku people of far eastern Timor-Leste, and its promotion and take-up through social media.

Prezervasaun Espresaun Kultura Fataluku Ne’ebé Atu Sai Lakon (Preservation of Fataluku endangered cultural heritage) by Dunphy, K., da Silva, I., Valentim, J., dos Santos, M.M., Caetano, F., Lopes, T., Pereira, N., Pichler, L., Schauble, H., & Toumbourou, T.D.  (2016). In S. Smith, N. C. Mendes, A. B. da Silva, A. C. Ximenes, C. Fernandes & M. Leach (Eds.), Timor-Leste: the local, the regional, and the global 2015 conference (9-10 July 2015) (Volume I), pp. 24-29, Conference proceedings, Timor Leste Studies Association, Hawthorn: Swinburne Press.

Project report and online exhibition: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Tutuala, Lautem, including representation of rock art in cultural elements, November 2015.  

Tribute to Sr Justino Valentim, senior cultural leader and MHI staff member. 

Can culture be developed: audio recording of a seminar exploring the issues around culture in development. Issues examined included: what role should or could culture play in desired futures for the developed and developing world? Can cultures be developed and if so, how? How can those changes be understood and assessed?  featuring MHI staff member Thomas Lopes and Directors Holly Schauble and Kim Dunphy. RMIT Centre for Global Research, Global Frictions Series, June 2016.

Schauble, Holly (2012).  Sustainable Development: Why Culture Matters, Connect magazine, July, Austraining International, re-published as Why Culture Matters to Sustainable Development, ArtsHub.

Promoting creativity

Teaching creative writing in Timor-Leste: This report includes structure and content of a creative writing program for young people, Emily Lush (2015).

Project report: Relatorio Aktividade Workshop Pinta Retratu iha Vidru, 4 May 2018, by MHI Team Leader Nelinha Pereira (Tetum only)

Sharing knowledge, skills and new ideas

Stevenson, A., Dunphy, K., de Lourdes, C., and da Silva, I. (2017). Taka lakuna jerasaun iha Timor-Leste: Oinsá mak programa kriativu bele kontribui. in Peter Job, Antero B. da Silva, Nuno Canas Mendes, Alarico da Costa Ximenes, Mica Barreto Soares, Sara Niner, and Therese Tam (ed). Refereed proceedings of the Timor-Leste Studies Association’s Conference 29-30 June 2017. Melbourne: Timor Leste Studies Association. 

Children's picture books. Together with a range of partners including Kids Own Publishing, Alola Foundation and volunteer Tash Trenear, we've produced a range of beautiful children's picture books in Tetun and other local languages. These are available for purchase.

Improving health and wellbeing
Promoting wellbeing in Timor-Leste through the creative arts: a resource for counsellors and therapists, and Promove bem-estar iha Timor-Leste liu husi arte kriativu: Rekursu ba konselleira, terapeuta no fasilitadora, Marita Jacobsson, Kim Dunphy and Karma Barnes (2016). (This booklet provides ideas for activities to support health and wellbeing through creative arts. It was produced by MHI, based on the work of three creative arts therapists who have recently undertaken work in Timor-Leste, and translated in Tetun by Mayra Walsh. )

Project report by MHI staff member Thomas Lopes, Report on presentation at Elementary School No. 2 Lospalos, February 2015

Making space for playgrounds: a guide for establishing creative outdoor playspaces in Timor-Leste, James Nash and Ildefonso da Silva (2015). Also available in Tetun 

Halo Spacu ba Halimar Fatin   Fatin hodi halimar iha Timor-Leste: Projetu halimar fatin Lospalos. (Places for creative play in Timor-Leste: a project to design a play space in Lospalos), (2016).  Nash, J. & da Silva, I.  In S. Smith, N. C. Mendes, A. B. da Silva, A. C. Ximenes, C. Fernandes & M. Leach (Eds.), Timor-Leste: the local, the regional, and the global, 2015 conference (9-10 July 2015) (Volume I), pp. 24-29, Conference proceedings, Timor Leste Studies Association, Hawthorn: Swinburne Press.

Social and emotional skills: how to reduce stress and conflict and increase happiness Conflict Resolution and Violence Prevention Stress management Non-violent discipline Workshop material: Powerpoint presentations and handouts in Tetun and English, John Toumbourou, Ruth Rudge and John Rudge (2012-2015).

Publications about our work 

Annual Reports: 2019-20182017-20182016-20172015-20162014-20152013-20142012-20132011-2012.

Regular e-bulletin: We produce and distribute a regular e-bulletin to share information about our work. Subscribe from our home page, or look at previous editions here: 2020 May2019 June; 2018 August; 2017 December2016 December;  2016 July;  2015 November2015 July;  2014 December2014 October,  2013 Dec; 2013 Sept; 2013 April; 2012 November2012 Oct; 2012 July; 2012 March; 2011 December, 2011 May; 2010 December.

Jacobson, M (20145), The Making of a Nativity Scene, Unofficial East Timor

Dunphy, K. Jordan, A. & Elton, M. (2014).  Exploring dance-movement therapy in post-conflict Timor-Leste, American Journal of Dance Therapy, 36(2).  DOI 10.1007/s10465-014-9175-4

Howell, G. & Dunphy, K. (2012).  Toka Boot- The Big Jam: Making music in rural East Timor, International Journal of Community Music, Special Issue, 5, 1.  Other resources about this project are available here.

Presentations about our work

Using the OMEKA platform to share cultural heritage: Fataluku culture research project, Kim Dunphy, Holly Schauble, Ildefonso da Silva and Nelinha Pereira. Presentation at the University of Melbourne Student Conservators for Timor-Lest's symposium 'Timor-Leste: Then and Now', Melbourne, October 2017.

Kostume kultura ne'ebe relasiona ho fatin arte fatuk sira iha Tutuala, Ildefonso da Silva, Nelinha Pereira, Kim Dunphy and Holly Schauble. Presentation at the Timor Leste Studies Association Conference 2017, Dili Timor-Leste.

Dokumentu kultura Fataluku ne’ebe ameasandu atu lakon; Documenting endangered forms of cultural expression
of the Fataluku people
, Holly Schauble, Ildefonso da Silva, Tessa Toumbourou, Kim Dunphy, Timor and Melbourne, July and August 2016

Fataluku Cultural Heritage Research Project, Presentation at Lautem Festival Seminar, Lospalos, April 2013, Justino Valentim and research team.

Employing Young People in Community Cultural Development, Presentation at Australian Council for International Development Conference: ‘Reframing the Youth Bulge: From Problem to Solution’, Canberra, May 3, 2013, Samantha Cooper for Many Hands International and Australia Red Cross (Australian Volunteer International Development Program).


Brief report Timor-Leste Delegation participation in WHO SEARO meeting on strengthening NCDs CSO, WHO South-East Asia, in New Delhi, 9-10th July 2015.

Research project: Dunphy, K. (2013). The role of participatory arts in social change in Timor-Leste, Unpublished PhD thesis,  Melbourne: Deakin University. Thesis summary: Tetun / English 

MHI Director Kim Dunphy's PhD research investigates the role of participatory arts in social change in Timor-Leste. Funded by Deakin University, this project examines the impact of participatory arts programs on those involved: project organisers, participants, audiences and their local communities in Timor-Leste.  It also seeks to explore ways of evaluating the impact of arts participation, both in terms of the practices currently in use by organisations leading arts projects in Timor-Leste (and other places) and the possibilities for future improvement of practice. The research is intended to provide an evidence base for MHI, assisting us to be as efficient and effective as possible in our work with communities through arts and culture. We seek to provide the best outcomes for communities with the most judicious use of resources. Kim's research has so far been presented at a number of conferences around the world and published in various journals and books.   

Dunphy, K. (2013).  The contribution of creativity to human development in a new nation: A case study of Afalyca art school, Timor-Leste, International Journal Of Creativity And Human Development, 2. 

Dunphy, K. (2012). Community arts in Timor-Leste 2001-2011: the contribution of the arts to international development goals, in Comte, M. (ed) Community Arts, North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Dunphy, K. (2012) The role of participatory arts in social change in Timor Leste: discussing outcomes for project stakeholders, in Leach, M., Mendes, N., da Silva, A., Boughton, B., and Ximenes, A. (eds). New Research on Timor-Leste., Hawthorn: Swinburne Press. 187-193.

Dunphy, K. (2011).  Evaluating the Scared Cool project: Understanding peacemaking through creativity and personal development in Timor-Leste, e-journal of UNESCO Observatory Multi-Disciplinary Research in the Arts, 2, 2.



Reid, M. & Lush, E. (2017). A social fabric: Tais weaving in Timor-Leste
Article about the practice of weaving in Lautem District written by MHI volunteers.

Dunlop, R. (2013). Lian Husi Klamar - Sounds of the Soul: The Traditional Music of Timor-Leste, Sydney: Tekee Media.

Escollano Brandao, C. X., with Choi, E., Oliveira Da Costa, M., Dewhurst, S., And Ximenes. L. (Eds) Culture And Its Impact On Social And Community Life: A Case Study Of Timor-Leste, Policy Brief No. 5, Belun: Dili. 

Ximenes, J. and Carlos, S. (2013) The potential for cultural tourism in Bobonaro, Ainaro & Lautem Districts, Alola Foundation and ILO.



Aboriginal Healing Foundation (2012). Dancing, Singing, Painting, and Speaking the Healing Story: Healing through Creative Arts, Ottowa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Bexley, Angie (2008) Drawing On Tolerance: Indonesians and Timorese Collaborate in Art Projects, Canberra Times

Bexley, Angie (2007) We refuse to become victims, Inside Indonesia

Dunphy, K. (2010).  How can the impact of cultural development work in local government be measured?: towards more effective planning and evaluation strategies, Local-Global Journal, RMIT, 7, 100-119.

Howell, G. (2014).  To have sustainable development, we need culture. Melbourne: The Conversation.  13 October. 

This article arguing for the importance of culture in development was written by rmusician-researcher Gillian Howell, MHI's first artist in residence in Timor-Lste. Gillian worked in Lospalos on an Asialink residency in 2010. 

Keenan, J. (2013) Keep the Change: Giving money to child beggars is the least generous thing a tourist can do

Gillian Howell, G. (2014) 'Development must embrace the dynamic force of culture', Media Asia 41(4) pp. 316–319

Tahisi, A. and Cooper, S. (2012) Wantok Stori, collaboration and exchange: towards the development of creative industries in Solomon Islands, Asia- Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management, Vol. 9 Issue 1.

This article was co-written by Samantha Cooper, one of MHI's volunteers who worked with us between 2012 and 2013.

The Debate on Culture and Development Moves On, July 2013

UNDP (2013). The Creative Economy Report: Widening Development Pathways through Culture. New York: UNDP, UNESCO.

Can't find what you're looking for? Try viewing the site map.

Please share Many Hands International on your social networks
Receive occasional news & information
Your Email: