June 3, 2023

24-year-old Australian makes history

24-year-old Australian makes history as the Youngest Foreigner, Honoured with Medal of the Order of Timor-Leste for a Decade of Service in Advancing Quality Education

On Friday the 19th of May BETTER Timor’s Founder and CEO, Ornella Byak, made history as the youngest foreigner to be awarded the Medal of the Order of Timor-Leste for her decade of service and contribution to the advancement of quality education in Timor-Leste.

Ms Byak was awarded this medal, the highest honour in the South-East Asian nation, alongside BETTER’s Timor Partner, Eddie De Pina, by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr José Ramos-Horta. The award ceremony was held at the Palace of the President of the Republic, in the nation’s capital Dili.

The award ceremony was attended by Government Members and distinguished guests including former Victorian premier Steve Bracks and Australian barrister Bernard Collaery.

Established in 2009, The Order of Timor-Leste is the highest honour currently awarded by Timor-Leste. The order recognises the contributions of East Timorese and foreign nationals who have made a significant contribution to East Timor, the Timorese or Mankind in general.

“I have the honour to express my appreciation for your contribution to Timor-Leste and the Timorese people.”

“Our people, through their highest representatives, have known to thank and honour those who over the years, before and after independence, have revealed and continue to reveal much dedication and commitment in supporting this country and people, through multiple actions of solidarity and fraternity.”

Said the President of the Republic, Mr José Ramos-Horta.

To learn more about Ornella Byak and Eddie De Pina’s story

For media enquiries please contact [email protected]

Kind Regards,

BETTER Timor Team