Lifestyle

Teaching in East Timor proves an education for Lauren

Lauren Bourke loved the time she spent teaching children in East Timor.
Lauren Bourke loved the time she spent teaching children in East Timor. Contributed

PET crocodiles, no road rules and living in poverty was just part of everyday life for Lauren Bourke when she spent a month in East Timor.

In October this year, the 18-year-old from Maryvale jumped on a Boeing 747 bound for Dili where she volunteered her time teaching children in what is an impoverished country.

"Considering it's so close to Australia, it truly is worlds away," Lauren said.

As part of the Edmund Rice Mission Lauren worked five days a week in a small mountain village called Railaco Craic, about two hours drive from base in Dili, teaching everything from maths and science to art and drama.

She said the smiles on the childrens' faces and seeing them improve each day made it an experience she would never forget.

"It really puts everything in perspective and you begin to reflect on everything we have here," Lauren said.

"They were all so attentive and there is so much we can learn from them.

"They find so much joy in the smallest of things."

Lauren lived with two trainee teachers from the Australian Catholic University Brisbane and two Christian Brothers.

"It was good to have them there to be able to go home and speak English with and some parts of it were really challenging so to be able to share that was good," she said.

When told they had a pet in a concrete pit in the backyard of her house, the last thing Lauren expected to see was a crocodile swimming around the green murky water.

"We thought they were joking, but then one of the guys there showed us and we could not believe it," she said.

"It just show the magnitude of how different our lives are.

"You can't even begin to compare it to here - it's just a completely different world."

Before heading overseas, Lauren brushed up on her Portugese so she could teach in their native language and said she picked up some of the local slang while over there.

But one trip isn't enough for this young girl who's out to make a difference in the world.

"It just reinforced that I want to do so much more - I would love to go back to Timor," Lauren said.

She heads off to the University of Queensland next year to study a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and said she hoped her career would send her back to places like Timor to use her degree to help those who need it most.

"I really want to use my degree to do lots more work like that," she said.

"I think it's the most wonderful thing you can do and I sort of wish everyone would do it at least once.

"It's life changing."

Topics:  east timor education poverty teaching travel warwick



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

No choice for Prep, all children must attend

Parents can still enrol their children for Prep next week, and aren't required to have uniforms, stationary or books.

It's not too late for parents to enrol their children.

Local Partners

Rockies owners consider banning visitors

visitors who vandalise and trash The Rockies waterhole have owners considering banning all users.


No prep is about the dragway surface not the cars

Royden Hardcastle will compete in his 1928 Dodge Senior 6 in the No Prep Kaos meeting at Warwick Dragway this Saturday.

Historic day on Saturday for Warwick Dragway

Hurricanes bunny has best of two ducks on a weekend

Hurricanes brains trust Mark Fowler and David Hallman during a carnival game at Dunning Oval.

Batting Bunnies fit in well with Hurricanes Elite fun cricket team

Barrel racing series to start at Warwick Showgrounds

Chelsea Longney and Tina Ross are two of the starters in the barrel racing weekend at the Warwick Showgrounds on January 28-29.

Only four days left to nominate for first stand-alone barrel race

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Sports gods answer your summer prayers with this line-up

The Brisbane Roar are on track for an entertaining season.

SO MUCH live action is happening in Brisbane this summer!

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Why tree-changers want to buy in the Southern Downs

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price for the Downs dropped 1.5% to $241,250 the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 1.5% to $241,250

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!