Kirsty grew up in Melbourne and Bendigo and attended Melbourne University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), majoring in Indonesian and Italian, and a Diploma of Education.
In 1991, after working as an Administrative Secretary with the Overseas Service Bureau (Australian Volunteers International)
From 1992 to 1996, she lived and worked as a teacher and human rights campaigner in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was during these years that her work for the East Timorese independence cause intensified and brought her into contact with the independence leader, Xanana Gusmão, who was serving a 20-year sentence in a Jakarta jail and whom she married in July, 2000.
She has lived in East Timor since October 1999 and is the founder and chairwoman of the Alola Foundation which she established in 2001 to address the needs of East Timorese women and their families.
Since becoming Goodwill Ambassador for Education in 2007, Kirsty Gusmão has devoted the bulk of her time to assisting the Ministry of Education to improve the quality of educational services in Timor-Leste, specifically through promotion of the use of Mother Tongue in the early years of schooling.
During the meeting, the Rotary Club of Sydney will be presenting a cheque to ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children) to cover the cost of bringing a baby from Timor Leste to Sydney for life saving surgery.
To receive an invitation, please call Tony Benner on 0407 366 140 or firstname.lastname@example.org