News

Of service to the world’s communities

DEVOTED TO HUMANITY: MP Thomas George awards Dr Vahideh Hosseini a Premier’s Community Service Award.
DEVOTED TO HUMANITY: MP Thomas George awards Dr Vahideh Hosseini a Premier’s Community Service Award.

BY DAY, she teaches English in the poorest university in East Timor. By night, she works with children and on weekends teaches East Timorese how to be English teachers. Dr Vahideh Hosseini has spent most of her life devoted to helping people in communities around the world and this week was honoured with a Premier's Community Service Award, awarded to her by local MP Thomas George.

"I'm shocked and surprised and I've never been happier in my life," Dr Hosseini said. "I'm grateful to be here and of service to community."

Mr George applied for the award for her in 2010 when she was working for the Red Cross, managing disaster response, but it's only now that she's back visiting Australia from East Timor that Mr George was able to hand her the award.

"The award is in recognition and appreciation of her outstanding contribution to the community," Mr George said. "After her recent work in East Timor, now she needs a bigger award."

After working with the Red Cross for 18 years, Dr Hosseini , who is a doctor of economics, was encouraged to go to East Timor by Mr George and Page MP Janelle Saffin .

"They all told me your place is East Timor," Dr Hosseini said. "The East Timorese long for knowledge - English is their passbook to a job and a future. They are a generous sharing people and I'd like to stay there long term."

When she first arrived in East Timor, she built a youth centre with a small team of unemployed youth which resulted in them all getting jobs. Now, she and her husband lecture voluntarily at Unital - a university which has 4000 students and only two very basic toilets.

"The classrooms are a mess and there's hardly any chairs," Dr Hosseini said. " I'm working with the Dean to change how the university operates and to get a canteen built there. When I first started, they were burning rubbish every day while students were studying, and it was causing a health issue, but now they wait till classes are over. If anyone wants to visit East Timor and help her in her work, Dr Hosseini is happy to show them around and put them to work to build what is needed. Email her at vahideh995@gmail.com.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Not whether we win or lose, but how we play

Not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.

Could farming the secret to longevity and living to 100?

Reg Allen turns 100 with staff, friends and family at St Joseph's Nursing Home in Lismore.

Gentle man turns 100 with wife by his side.

No chutney and scones on verandah today

Dr Airdre Grant

Life in the country you don't see in the magazines.

Latest deals and offers

The perils of play: How kids are most likely to be hurt

THE thought of your child suffering a life-threatening accident is the stuff of parents’ nightmares.

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

At nine years of age, Quiń had an accident that caused a cataract to one of his eyes. In an instant; this little boy with his whole life ahead of him faced a future of blindness.

Thousands of Aussies joining campaign to restore sight to kids

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Blood-stained clothes seized after axe attack

Lismore Court House.

A landlord has been charged over an axe attack on her tenant

School girl porn ring site goes offline

The Federal Government is yet to confirm if the site has been taken down or simply moved to different offshore servers.

Controversial Australian nude school girl rating site disappears.

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m