Close to Home – A Documentary set in Timor-Leste

Close to Home -60 mins Documentary

A one hour documentary set in Timor-Leste, one of our closest neighbours.

Essential viewing for every ‘wanna be’ NGO worker or volunteer abroad.

Like so many ‘been everywhere done everything’ Baby Boomers, 60 year old Anne Tindall wants to make a difference in the world before she dies. She’s obsessed with the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, can actually change the world ‘if they can just get off their fat arses and do something!’

So to ‘dip her toe in the water’ she heads off to a country very CLOSE TO HOME- Timor-Leste.
Dragging her filmmaker husband of 42 years with her…to document her grassroots ‘world changing’ moments, Anne takes us on a journey of discovery about other people, other cultures, other experiences; that ultimately reveals more about ourselves, our own attitudes and shortcomings.

Timor-Leste, with one of the highest infant and maternal death rates in the world, and a country still struggling with ongoing post conflict anxiety proves to be difficult and confronting.

This is a delightful story filled with ups and downs and poignant moments that ultimately concludes, that ‘if we want to make a change in the world, we must first change ourselves!’

It’s a colourful, insightful story that slowly arrives; never preaches; that there is in fact no “OTHER;” there is only us! Fellow human beings struggling to find real freedom in our daily lives.

Email: Anne Tindall –
P.O. Box 1003 Windsor Vic. 3181

Ceduna Indigenous Youth Arts

Wayne Tindall, artist & creative director of Change the World recently spent a week in Ceduna with Stride Program Co ordinator Shelley Hewson, to work with the Ceduna Youth Hub.

The task was to mentor local Indigenous artists and to engage with local Aboriginal youths to ‘paint up’ their Youth Hub Building, introducing them to spray painting & traditional painting techniques.

The results were sensational, with the wider community flocking to the Youth Hub site to see what what taking place.

The week long project created an exciting, colourful and well-executed mural across the main building with another colourful mural situated on the shed at the back.

Wayne was able to:

•    Give the local young people access to new skills and technical ‘know how’ that is inherent in painting for and in public spaces
•    Create awareness around the differences between illegal graffiti and tags, and legal graffiti and street art
•    Demonstrate the benefits of community engagement and collaboration when designing and executing public space art works
•    Teach new techniques and painting methods that can sit alongside and in some cases supplement traditional art practices
•    Create awareness about health and safety issues when executing public art pieces (especially around the use of spray cans and potentially toxic paints)
•    Create awareness about collaboration on a single art piece and how this creates a sense of pride and ownership in the community
•    Teach young people the processes that are required to move from an initial idea to final execution and public display of any art form
•    Create an awareness that public art is not necessarily STATIC and future upgrades and enhancements are a positive part of the whole experience
•    Bring the total community together around a positive and fun art experience
•    Create awareness around the fact that often it’s the process not the final outcome that is the most rewarding
•    Help people from all ages and family backgrounds to work together on a single project that can work for the whole community.

Coober Pedy Arts Project

Change the World’s CEO and resident artist Wayne Tindall recently spent two weeks working for the Stride Foundation to assist in delivering a public space mural painting program for young people in Coober Pedy.

Stride Foundation is a non-profit, non-government organisation working across Australia to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of young people and their communities. Role model and mentoring programs are delivered in some of the most disadvantaged remote, rural and metropolitan areas across Australia. Sport, Art, Music and Environmental Activities are used to re-engage, build resilience and help young people to fulfill their true potential.

After two weeks of hard work the results speak for themselves. The paintings are the result of a collaborative process between all people involved with a ‘hands on’ approach resulting in pride, a sense of self worth and local ownership of the works of art in the Coober Pedy Basketball Courts.


Ego Lemos – PermaYouth

Change the World is supporting Ego Lemos with his endeavour to take young Timorese and instil in them a passion for the land and a drive to make Timor-Leste a better place fore themselves and their children. The project is known as PermaYouth.

A musician, singer songwriter and environmental troubadour Ego Lemos is a remarkable man, with a remarkable voice in more ways than one.

Ego set up PERMATIL in 2000 as a local NGO concentrating on sustainable development, working with farmers, community leaders, community groups, Government staff, NGO / INGO staff, and university and school students. Providing training, information and education, the focus is on how to protect the land and environment, to manage it and use it to improve livelihoods. All training and information provided is compatible with economic, social, cultural, climatic, and environmental conditions in Timor-Leste.

Permanent Agriculture: agriculture and animal management that improves the land, provides income and produce, and is sustainable now and into the future.
Permanent Culture: working with, protecting and encouraging a strong Timorese culture and environment, and moving forward at the same time. Working with nature and people and learning from them, not against or in competition with.

Permaculture connects and integrates different ideas and techniques of living and agriculture together: houses, water supply, health, waste management, agriculture, fruit trees and tree crops, aquaculture, rivers, forests, animals, etc. It builds on traditional knowledge and the new techniques available to augment that knowledge.

With over 250 trained members spread over Timor-Leste’s 13 Districts, it also seeks to build a national movement that facilitates the appreciation and exchange of traditional knowledge from disparate communities within the country, integrating the results into a body of knowledge that will serve all Timorese into the future.

Permatil and now PermaYouth members seek to promote the ten guiding principles of permaculture applicable to all, whether living in an urban or rural environment.
1) Take personal responsibility
2) Seek cooperation, not competition
3) See the solution, not the problem
4) Know that quality makes economic sense
5) Know that energy efficient systems make all sorts of sense
6) Work smart, not hard
7) Minimize waste
8) Work toward integrated systems
9) Seek diversity
10) Enjoy the benefits of beauty and function

Chau’u Polo – A short film made in Lospalos Timor Leste

This short film is a sensation!

We spent 10 days in Lospalos working with an enthusiastic group of young people, to build a media centre, equip it and to train them in all aspects of film making.

To train them we asked them what story they would like to tell and they came up with a positive drama based on a young boy they called Chau’u Polo. It’s about a poor smelly schoolboy who is teased at school but who later in life becomes a local hero being very successful. And how does he get to be so successful? Through wisdom given to him by a very lage crocodile who befriends him whilst fishing one day!

Okay so how do we film dialogue between a young boy and a crocodile with no special effects, in remote Timor Leste and ‘no speaka da lingo’? Simple the young people reply. We ask La Fiek (Grandfather Crocodile) to come to us and put in an appearance. So we did and so he did.

We believe this film is the first fictional drama short ever written, filmed, edited and screened by locals all in Tetun. The music is also 100% local with one song recorded on ‘the street’ outside the house we stayed in and the other written and sung by a young lad all in Fataluku. Fataluku is one of the many languages of East Timor, and is spoken in and around the town of Lospalos, in the Lautem district with about 35,000 speakers. As Fataluku is a Papuan language, it is very different from Tetun and most other languages of East Timor, which are Austronesian languages.

Chau’u’Polo – The making of a short film from Timor Leste

THE MAKING OF CHAU’O POLO – A short ‘behind the scenes’ look at the fun we had with the young people of Lospalos Timor Leste as we trained them in all aspects of film making.

The result was a 15 minute short film they titled Chau’u Polo, which as far as we can make out means something like ‘baldy or baldhead!’

We spent 10 days filming this fictional drama created and written from scratch. It’s about a poor smelly schoolboy who is teased at school but who later in life becomes a local hero by being very successful. And how does he get to be so successful? Through wisdom given to him by a very large crocodile who befriends him whilst fishing one day!

We believe this film is the first fictional short film ever written, filmed, edited and screened by locals all in Tetun. The music is also 100% local with one song recorded on ‘the street’ outside the house we stayed in. The other song is written and sung by a young lad all in Fataluku. Fataluku is one of the many languages of East Timor, and is spoken in and around the town of Lospalos, in the Lautem district with about 35,000 speakers. As Fataluku is a Papuan language, it is very different from Tetun and most other languages of East Timor, which are Austronesian languages.

Thanks so much to Paulo Almeida and Sol Nation for the use of their cool music track.

I dare to believe…

“I  dare to believe that little old me can make a difference in the world. If I can do it…anyone can do it!”

Change the World founder and film producer Anne Tindall shares her vision for the company, the story to date and the journey still to come.

Change the World is working closely with a small community in Lospalos in Timor-Leste where the company has raised funds to build a much needed sustainability and cultural centre…to give the community a chance to make some money, create new jobs and help lift them out of the poverty cycle.

Change the World will then work around the globe undertaking similar projects in:

Remote Australia

The plan is to produce an initial 6 part documentary series to be distributed globally, to share the vision and to encourage others to get off their butts and do something…anything to help make this world a better place!

DTour – our contribution


Mark Grose, Managing Director, Skinnyfish Music and Ego Lemos (Timor’s famous musician, songwriter, permaculturalist, and community development worker) had a dream to create a new annual cultural exchange between Australia and Timor-Leste known as D-Tour.


To help them realise thsi dream and get this message out to the world, Change the World created a promotional video to help them realise this dream.

The dream was realised on Saturday 17thSeptember 2011. The launch of D’Tour has been hailed an amazing success as local Timor-Leste musician and permaculture activist Ego Lemos together with the R&B boys from the Northern Territory B2M, rocked Dili’s Mercado Lama in front of a local crowd of 3,000 on Saturday 17thSeptember 2011.

From the moment B2M arrived in Timor-Leste to meet Ego Lemos and his 200-strong gathering of Timorese volunteers to kick off the first ever D’Tour concert, a powerful connection between two indigenous groups was clearly being forged. Throughout the 5 days of workshops, school visits, cultural exchange and music collaboration – which culminated in a free concert broadcast live on national TV to an audience of over 150,000 in both East and West Timor – Tiwi Island’s B2M had their first opportunity to engage and collaborate with their nearest overseas neighbours.

Exchanging stories of trial to triumph, and of the constant need to defer to the past, deal honestly with the present, & shape the future; they discovered and explored the shared experiences of two remote communities and the potential lessons they had to offer the broader community through the global language of music. The message:  Care for the Land, Care for the People, Care for the Future.

Under the stars on a warm Dili evening, Nobel Peace Laureate, Timor-Leste President and D’Tour’s Honorary Patron, HE Dr José Ramos Horta, arrived by mini-moke to officially open the event. Delivering a rousing endorsement of the event’s theme, he urged audiences everywhere, as individuals, to dare to make a difference.

D’Tour’s International Patron, HE Kirsty Sword-Guzmão, gave a welcome address and the Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Miles Armitage, joined the line up of dignitaries who all acknowledged the importance of this event for both countries.

Timor Tours – our contribution

Timor is just a 1 hour flight from Darwin yet the reality is a world away. Travel in Timor-Leste is difficult, sometimes there are no roads and huge mountain ranges to cross.  These conditions isolate communities that would benefit greatly from ‘Eco Tourism’ with ‘Homestay’ facilities. There is a real need to safely transport cashed up tourists to these beutiful and remote areas.

Dave & Shirley Carlos of Timor Tours are helping this tiny nation by bringing much needed tourism dollars through their motorcycle and 4 Wheel Drive tours.

The motorcycle tours in particular allow tourists access to pristine inland wildernesses and untouched coastal beaches. Outside of Dili the capital, most Timorese live on less than 70 cents a day and have no way of making it to the capital to search for work.

These tours bring much needed dollars into remote areas making a difference to individuals and villages few can fully comprehend.

Change the World has supported this group by making a promotional video clip highlighting the tours.

ETWA – fund raiser for building


Los Palos (the intellectual capital of Timor and the heart of the resistance movement) is in desperate need for a centre where:

  • Young people can be trained and educated
  • Cultural and artistic activities can be fostered
  • The local women can produce and sell their Tais (Traditional Weaving)
  • New business opportunities such as Eco Tourism can be set up…and
  • The community can establish ‘On Line’ web based media to connect the village to the world.

Timor Leste still after 10 years of freedom remains one of the poorest nations in the world, and according to Australia’s official aid agency, AusAid, life expectancy is only 60 years with half the population living on less than a dollar a day. The building of this centre in Lospalos offers a way out of this poverty cycle.


Change the World  produced this short clip, highlighting the need for a Sustainability/Arts/Business  Centre in Los Palos Timor-Leste. Together with representatives from the village and the East Timor Women Australia group- ETWA, we raised $21,000 in one night to ensure the centre can be built.

Change the World is now producing a documentary film following the ‘highs and lows’ of the building process and the change that this will bring to a community in need.