Timor-Leste's weaving centres - EoI CLOSED

Since calling for expressions of interest from registered practices and/or practitioners to the proposed two weaving centres in two villages in Timor Leste, we have received overwhelming response! We take this opportunity to say thank you for your support.

The Design Brief can still be viewd by clicking on the image above.

Culture House, Timor Leste
photo courtesy: Alternative Technology Association

Our client, East Timor Women Australia (ETWA) is a Melbourne based, not for profit organisation and run by volunteers. Please come back for more updates on the project.
To see our previous post regarding information on this project, click here.


Thank You and Season's Greetings

We take this opportunity to say Thank You and acknowledge to all those who have been supporting, contributing and participating at various levels and stages in our probono service in the past year.

We wish to acknowledge the generous support to all our clients, business members, members, and and consistent hard work of the service providers and the probono team, in the following projects,

Brad Hooper (director of Brad Hooper Architect) and Brookes Thorne (interior Designer & Lecturer at Swinburne University), service prodier of Laverton Community Centre and Neighborhood House,

Julia Mardjuki, Fitzroy Learning Network,proposed kitchen extension

Deborah Salvagno, coordinator of East Timor Women Association - proposed weaving centres in Timor Leste

Rita McMillan and David Mazzotta, Craigieburn Education & Community Centre

in Rebuilding Bush Fire affected communities - thanks to the probono team, members expressed interest in contributing to the rebuilding process, and all those took part in the exhibition in Words@ Bldg50 in Nov 2009

and many thanks to our business members for their continuous support in probono services.

Merry Christmas to all of you, we wish you all a fruitful and peaceful 2010.

the probono team


Carlton Primary School Renewal: by WEBB+

The Architects for Peace pro bono team is committed to supporting and promoting built environment professionals working for the good of the community. We sincerely believe that good design is a right rather than the privilege of an elite few. The pro bono service was set up with the aim of providing a network for those many of you out there - architects, engineers, designers - either having already provided your services free of charge to a deserving cause or seeking a way to do so. The following project - a facelift for a disadvantaged primary school - is just such an example. Recently undertaken by WEBB+ (formerly NHWEBB) on a pro bono basis, it came about independently of the arch-peace pro bono service. We are delighted to welcome WEBB+ as a business member of Architects for Peace.

The story of Carlton Primary.....

In line with our social responsibility commitment, WEBB+ (formerly known as NHWEBB) approached Carlton Primary School with the intention to initiate a community exchange program. WEBB+ hoped that the school, one of Melbourne’s demographically most disadvantaged, would be able to utilise our skills in a way that would enhance School Life in some way.

We met with the Principal of Carlton Primary School, Julie Large, and the Environment Teacher, Chris Burgess, and learned that the school, initially designed to accommodate 700 students, was originally developed from remnants of the neighbouring Housing Estate.

Vesna Rak-Dusanovic of Webb + writes:

The school now has a population of only approximately 90 students, 100% of whom live in the neighbouring Housing Estate, and a vast majority (95%) being from a non-English speaking background. Many are refugees from African nations such as Somalia.

Julie felt that one of the major issues contributing to low enrolment was the common perception that the school was a part of the Housing Estate. There was a strong desire to visually separate the school from the Housing Estate by altering the appearance of the building so that it could be clearly identified as a school.

As a result of early discussions, design options were prepared by WEBB+. The most affordable option, involving painting the facade, removing metal screens from the windows and screening rubbish bin enclosures, was implemented by the school. Further improvements (potential Stage 2 works) could be achieved through strategic introduction of landscaping to “soften” large concreted areas and structures (for example, locating planter boxes in between concrete columns on the ground floor), provision of opaque natural material screening to the existing transparent wire fence around the site perimeter, facing the neighbouring housing estate, and incorporation of decorative graphic panels (scaled photographs of school activities) to be applied to the face of the building to display the rich “internal life and activities” of the school to the “outside world”.

The project has been a great experience for the WEBB+ team. The enthusiasm of students and staff was inspirational, and the results we achieved together gave us great pleasure and a real sense of achievement and contribution to the community.

The School has already received very positive feedback about their “new look”. We are hopeful that these and further improvements will raise the School’s image in the community and result in higher enrolments in the future.

Testimonial from Julie Large – Principal of Carlton Primary School:

"Working with Webb+ has been a really positive experience for the school. It enabled us to think differently about our school building and grounds and to employ the expertise of WEBB+ staff to discuss our particular challenges and needs. The changes that have been made to the school building and surrounds have received positive comments from all sections of the school community as well as members of the general public."

Download more information and images here

For more information about the school:
And about WEBB+: - Intro


Kathy Hoar – Office Manager
Vesna Rak-Dusanovic - Project Leader
Tim Webb – Graphic Design

This project was not faciliated by the arch peace pro bono service but represents the experience of one of our members. Do you have a pro bono experience to share with us? We'd love to hear from you! Please direct enquiries to


Timor-Leste's weaving centres

East Timor Women Australia (ETWA) is a Melbourne based, not for profit organisation and run by volunteers. They provide and organise community oriented programs to support East Timorese women, particularly in the handcrafts industry. They aim to give women the opportunity to make real the benefits of sustainable handcrafts enterprises and, through the richness of weaving, help them maintain cultural integrity.

Three community weaving centres are proposed on 3 separate sites in remote villages on the eastern tip of the island of Timor Leste. Two centres will be located in the mountainous sub-district of Iliomar, in the villages of Fuat and Cainliu, and one in the flatlands of central Los Palos. The Architects for Peace probono team was first approached in April 2009. Debra Salvagno and Taryn Lane, representatives of ETWA, embarked on their annual weaving tour shortly afterwards and at the same time gathered site and land information for these building projects. ETWA is now in the process of drafting a design brief including a design information package with maps, site photos and information on local building technology and materials, for the future architect's reference.

A video clip showing how the women weaves can be viewed here.

ETWA has received support for materials from Rotary and is also working with the Alternative Technology Association to raise funds for solar panels in the three community weaving centres.

The draft design brief will be ready by October and we look forward to proceeding to the next stage of this fascinating project.

Our next step will be to advertise for pro bono service providers with expertise in sustainable building design. Although we are only at an early stage in the process, this is an exciting project that we hope will ultimately help to start a new chapter in the lives of the East Timorese women in these remote villages.

Queries of this project can be emailed to

photos courtesy : ETWA


Laverton Community Centre + Neighbourhood House

LCCNH is a not for profit Neighbourhood House managed by the local community. It offers family support, social and educational activities to all sectors of the local community, especially disadvantaged community group.

LCCNH  applied for a community grant to assist them in upgrading their current premises.  They currently operate from a small house with minimal storage and inadequate space for their 5 staff members.   The rear of the house contains classrooms where adult training is provided. Courses include cooking, English language and computer skills. 

A pro bono service provider was required to assist LCCNH with their grant application. Architects for Peace Pro Bono assisted in matching two applicants, Brad Hooper & Brooke Thorne, to assist with the grant application.  Brad Hooper (director of Brad Hooper Architect) and Brooke Thorne (interior designer & lecturer at Swinburne University) formed a team and worked with the client to produce initial concept drawings and an opinion of probable costs for the project.

The client was then able to incorporate these documents into their grant application.  The grant application was submitted at the start of March 2009 and we are awaiting a response. 

The team that was formed between Brad and Brooke was a great example of how architecture & design firms can team up with graduates and students to support each other and help provide pro bono services.  The skills of both service providers complimented each other.  As well as being an architect, Brad's previous experience as the Chair of the Management Board at the Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House meant that he understood the complexities of such projects and organisations.  Brooke's passion for pro bono work, interior design background and drawing skills assisted in providing design input and relevant drawings to the client.    


Rebuilding bushfire affected communities

Arch-peace pro bono services:

Our thoughts and condolences go to all those affected by the bushfires in Victoria as we share in a deep sense of sadness for what has occurred. Architects for Peace is committed to assisting communities in Victoria’s fire-affected areas.

Arch-peace Pro Bono Services has successfully operated on a community-driven (rather than top-bottom) approach, with community groups contacting us to initiate a project. We anticipate that this service may be able to play a part in the recovery process ahead, in conjunction with the action being taken by NGOs to identify areas of need and the individual offers of help that have begun to emerge from the industry.

Architects for Peace Offer of Assistance

The Architects for Peace Pro Bono Team

Pro bono service policy now available online - Download here!!

With important information for community groups in need of pro bono services, and built environment professionals interested in providing them, our pro bono policy is now available for download. Please click the link above to access the document.


Laverton Community Centre + Neighbourhood House

Laverton Community Centre + Neighbourhood House

LCCCNH is a not for profit Neighbourhood House managed by the local community which offers family support, social and educational activities to all sectors of the Laverton community, especially disadvantaged community groups.

The Neighbourhood House provides adult training in a variety of areas including cooking, language and computer skills. These programs have been of assistance to new immigrants settling in the area as well as other individuals and families.

The original building is a small house designed in 1975. Currently, 5 staff members work in a cramped space with very little storage. The meeting area is the front 'lounge room' which doubles as their lunch room and main storage area.

LCCCNH require an architect or interior designer to assist them with a grant application under the Modernising Neighbourhood Houses Program. They require assistance in clarifying their space requirements and how the interior can be reworked to accomodate 5 workers, volunteers, a private meeting room and lots of storage.

Grants between $50,000 to $80,000 are available and the application must be submitted before March 2nd 2009.

If you are interested in undertaking this project please email for more information.