Victoria University (VU) today awarded former Minister of Education of Timor-Leste Dulce de Jesus Soares an honorary doctorate for her significant contributions to the well-being of children, women, families and families. communities of his young nation, and his role in a long and fruitful collaboration with VU.
Dr. Soares has been a strong and determined advocate for educational access and reform in Timor-Leste, with a long career in politics, education and international development.
As the country’s former Deputy Minister of Early Childhood and Basic Education, former Minister of Education, Youth and Sports – and now Education Advisor to the President – Dr Soares has played a major role in planning and implementing equal access and quality education for all children. in Timor-Leste, especially those in rural areas.
Early career with education at VU
She began her career teaching English, gaining extensive experience in regional development and planning after earning a Bachelor of Education from Udayana University in Bali and a Masters in International Community Development from Victoria University.
She worked as a National Program Officer for UNICEF, where she worked with international partners to develop laws and policies to ensure children’s rights, including establishing a National Commission for the Rights of the Child. .
Dr. Soares has led early childhood and primary education curriculum reforms, including producing local textbooks, advocating for mother tongue education, and developing policies to improve access and inclusion.
With over 20 years of academic collaborations and student exchange between VU and Timor-Leste – including VU training for approximately 180 Timor-Leste students since 2003 – Dr. Soares has been actively engaged with VU to support sustainable development for the future of his country through collaboration and education.
Its progressive program has seen Timor-Leste make great improvements in mentoring teachers and achieving its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.