Vale Dr Helen Hill

Former Victoria University teacher, and pioneer of Australia Timor-Leste solidarity Dr Helen Hill died on 7 May 2024, aged 79.
Thursday 16 May 2024

Dr Hill taught at VU in Melbourne for over 20 years and introduced a Bachelor of Arts (Community Development) degree, with a focus upon the Pacific.  

Her championing of the Memorandum of Understanding between VU and the National University of East Timor (UNTL) in 2005 was central to VU developing a now decades-long partnership; one that continues to foster educational cooperation and deeply collaborative partnerships.

Her lifetime’s work in Timor-Leste led to significant social and political change. After retiring from VU in 2018, Helen continued to support the country’s education and capacity-building through her consultancy work. She was awarded the Order of Timor-Leste in 2014 and held the position of Profesora Convidada, Universidade Nacional Timor Lori Sae, Dili.

Both the Timorese Government and the International Women's Development Agency have expressed their condolences.

In January 2023, Helen was interviewed on the People of VU podcast, where she reflected on her upbringing, activism and time at Victoria University.  

Known for her forthright opinions, Helen continuously advocated for the people of Timor-Leste and the young nation's global position, seeking opportunities for all those she encountered. VU will greatly miss Helen’s powerful vision for our Pacific neighbours and her unwavering dedication to VU. We share our sincere condolences with her family and those who knew her.  

Please set aside time to listen to her story and learn more about her significant impact at, and upon, the University.

In addition, read condolence messages from both the Timorese Government and the International Women's Development Agency.