Independent Journalism Funding Opportunity: Balibo Five—Roger East Fellowship 2017

Feb 3, 2017

Applications are now being sought from Timorese media makers for independent journalism fellowships in 2017.

The Fellowships will provide up to $5000 USD in financial assistance to support long form and investigative journalism projects in East Timor which could otherwise not happen without this support.

Funding may be used for a stipend, travel and accommodation, living expenses, and study fees.

An opportunity may exist for one fellowship recipient to be invited to visit Australia for an internship in an Australian media organisation, or study in Australia.

The Balibo Five—Roger East Fellowship

The ‘Balibo Five-Roger East Fellowship’ is an initiative of the Australian media workers union, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement.

The objectives of the fellowship are:

  • To improve the quality and skill of journalism in East Timor, particularly investigative journalism.
  • To nurture a democratic free press in East Timor.
  • To build links and solidarity between journalists in Australia and in East Timor.
  • To honour the memory of journalists Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham, Tony Stewart, Malcolm Rennie, Brian Peters and Roger East, who were killed during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.

In 2016, there were two successful fellowship recipients.

Application Process

Applicants are required to submit a pitch no more than two pages in length that:

  • Articulates what topic/s they wish to explore with the assistance of the fellowship.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to independent, quality reporting.
  • How it will contribute to democracy and accountability (government, bureaucratic, individual or corporate) in East Timor .
  • Outlines what they wish to gain from the fellowship, and how they will use any new skills and training they acquire in their work in East Timor.

Applications will be strictly confidential, and assessed by an advisory panel comprising of a representative nominated by MEAA, a representative nominated by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, and a representative nominated by the Balibo Five families.

Criteria for applicants:
  • A citizen of East Timor;
  • At least two years full-time experience as a journalist, media maker, or researcher either with a print or broadcast organisation, or as a proven freelancer;
  • Some fluency in English language (to be eligible for Australian study component);
  • Nomination supported by an appropriate organisation that agrees to release them from existing work for the duration of the fellowship, or otherwise support them to complete the fellowship;
  • Special consideration will be given to ensuring access of younger journalists (aged under 30) to the program.

Please email your pitch in English, Bahasa or Tetum to APHEDA Timor Coordinator Elisabeth de Araujo.

For more information, contact Elisabeth by email (, or on: +670 77232075

Applications extended! Applications now close at 5pm on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Women are encouraged to apply.

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