For the past 20 years Australian photographer and writer Fiona Basile has traveled to different parts of the world capturing the faces, places and events that shape lives. We all have a story to tell and whether it’s through the written word or with photos, this story should be explored and shared. This is Fiona’s work and her passion. Fiona is an Accredited Photographer with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and specialises in editorial, documentary and corporate writing and photography, and portraiture photography.
Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO is an inspiring and passionate woman who lives life with the people and cultures of two countries close to her heart – Australia and Timor Leste.
Born in Melbourne and raised in country Victoria, Kirsty spent more than 15 years living in Indonesia where she joined the fight for independence of East Timor. She met Timorese independence fighter Xanana Gusmão while living in Indonesia, and who at the time was living in house detention. They married in 2000 and together they have three sons.
Life as First Lady of Timor Leste was far from glamorous, but it did provide a platform through which Kirsty could establish the Alola Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Timor Leste, operated by the women of Timor Leste, for the empowerment and nurturing of women and girls.
In sharing Kirsty’s story, the voices of Timorese men and women are also shared among us.
Read the full story of Timor Leste’s former first lady in Melbourne Catholic magazine.
I was at the bedside, together with my mum and dad, brothers and sister, when both of my grandparents on my mother’s side died. They spent their last days in palliative care as their bodies slowly shut down. In this time of pain and suffering, there was so much love and compassion. As we “walked” alongside and witnessed our beloved family members dying, we remained present and loving—talking to them, holding their hands, caressing their cheeks, placing liquid in their mouths, and stroking their arms. We loved them to the end. And we continue to love them though they’re no longer here with us in body.
Read full reflection here.
Published by Loyola Press, Fiona has released a children’s book called Shhh … God is in the silence, which is available in Australia via Garratt Publishing. Or you can contact Fiona Basile via email to order copies.