Amid all the pandemonium surrounding the pandemic here in Australia, I was very relieved to read the public COVID-19 statistics for Timor Leste. As at 17 August 2020, Timor Leste statistics were: 0 new cases, 25 confirmed cases, 0 deaths.†
However, here are some other statistics for Timor Leste, as compared with Australia. (Remembering that Dili is less than an hour’s flight from Darwin).
Living in Australia instead of Timor Leste you are:*
|Likely to live 13.9 years longer||68 yrs||82yrs|
|Be 7.6 times more likely to be obese||3.8% of adults||29% of adults|
|Likely to make 9.3 times more money||$5.4k GDP per capita||$50.3k GDP per capita|
|2.4 times more likely to have access to elec.||42% pop||100% pop|
|3.5 times more likely to have internet access||25.2% pop||88.2%|
|97.2 % less likely to die during child birth||215/100 000 births||6.0/100 000 births|
|87% less likely to die during infancy||35.1 die before age 1||4.3 die before age 1|
So, when I approached all the male teaching staff recently and invited them to be part of a ‘Good Bloke’s Bake Off’ to raise some badly needed funds for Soibada TL®, these were the numbers I had in mind.
Here is what happened. Seventeen ‘Good Blokes’, including Marc, our Principal, ‘baked’ (for want of a better term) an item to share with the rest of the staff for a fund raising Big Morning Tea. Judges were summoned, decisions were made, and the winners, 1st Mr Jack Marshall for his Caramel Slice, in 2nd Mr Philip Mau for his Creme Brulee and in 3rd, Mr Jack Ritchie for his Weet-Bix slice, received their prizes. There was much joy amid a lot of sugar. Hmm, and we raised $240!
However, there was more! Dr McGahey, one of our Science/Religion teachers, to mark her birthday this year, bought lunch for ALL the STAFF! She asked that in lieu of gifts we donate to the fund for Soibada®. Dr McGahey’s kind generosity raised more dollars.
Despite the pandemonium of the pandemic, kindness and generosity are robust and continue to thrive. Oh and please note, there is a highly infectious load of both these virtues spreading through the staff room at Mater Maria at present. You are strongly advised against inoculating yourself against them.
Thank you to Dr McGahey, to all the ‘Good Bloke’ bakers, and of course to our generous staff, the same staff who teach our kids every day in our classrooms.
Michael Halliday, LECF