The Australian Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has won the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Clean Energy Award for bringing solar lighting to remote villages in East Timor.
The award was presented to the ATA chief executive Donna Luckman and international projects volunteers Michael O’Connell and Alan Hutchinson in Melbourne, recognising the not-for-profit association’s Village Lighting Scheme, which has been operating for more than a decade. Since 2003, it has installed solar powered lighting in more than 1500 homes, schools, community centres and hospitals without access to electricity in East Timor, as well as training and developing and training programmes for local solar technicians.
“We’re delighted and we thank the UNAA for this award” said Ms Luckman, adding that the award was great recognition for the work of dozens of people in Australia and East Timor, many of them volunteers committed to improving lives with clean energy. “The ATA has a long-term commitment to renewable energy in East Timor that has grown and expanded over the years. Not only does solar benefit the environment, it literally changes people’s lives to have light at night with clean energy instead of relying on polluting kerosene lamps or candles. Women and children also feel safer with reliable light for security.”
Ms Luckman added that the ATA’s vision is for renewable energy across developing countries like East Timor, as well as in Australia.
In the next round of installations from July to November this year, the ATA will oversee 700 solar-powered lighting units in the Timorese districts of Aileu, Baucau and Viqueque.
For additional information about the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) click here.