On award student Joaquim Costa da Cruz has big ambitious to develop the aviation sector in Timor-Leste. Born in Builale, Viqueque municipality he grew up in Fatulia, Venilale with his parents and four siblings.
Brought up in a farming family, his parents worked hard to earn money so all their children could get a good education and have a better chance in life.
After gaining a bachelor’s degree in Science Aeronautical Engineering at Philippine State College of Aeronautics in 2015, Joaquim was keen to build on his knowledge and skills. In 2018, he secured an Australia Awards Scholarship to study for a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.
During his first semester, adjusting to the new learning environment and keeping on track with assignments was not an easy job. But by seeking help from university resources, course coordinators, tutors, and friends’ his work became more manageable.
Driven by his ambition to help develop the Timor-Leste’s fledgling aviation sector Joaquim believes that it can foster many other sectors including technology, defence, education, industry, agriculture, businesses, tourism and travel.
He also recognises the sector’s potential to provide employment, how it can transform a country’s image and contribute to its economic development.
“Whilst the aviation sector in Timor-Leste has been slow-moving and not many young Timorese are well-informed regarding the sector, building the sector will provide new job opportunities”.
“In aviation, you can be an aircraft mechanic or technician, flight engineer, air traffic controller, aerospace or aeronautical engineer, aviation analyst, and more”.
As a result, Joaquim’s keen to encourage young Timorese to take advantage of opportunities to study aviation courses. And he’s not stopping there.
“Timor-Leste’s government may have built good airports in the country, but we still have more tasks to do. We need commercial airlines, aviation programs in schools, airline pilots, aircraft mechanics, technicians and engineers.”
Joaquim knows there are huge gaps to fill, so once he’s graduated and returned to Timor-Leste he plans to work with relevant organisations, ministries and entities, using his new knowledge and skills to help develop an aviation sector that Timor-Leste can be proud of.