About Us

Learn more about the Xanana Gusmão Reading Room

Our Mission, Vision and Values


Our Vision

“The power of culture, books, information and learning is empowering our people to achieve their potential”.

Our Mission

“To provide a safe, inclusive and dynamic space for all people to access resources and information to improve their lives”.

Our Values

Respect, Integrity, Quality, Community, Inclusivity.

History of Xanana Gusmao Reading Room

The Xanana Gusmão Reading Room (XGRR) was established in June 2000 to serve as a safe place where children, youth, students, and the public at large, could access books and resources with a view to fostering a love of reading within the community.

Library development

Since then, the XGRR has contributed significantly to library development in Timor-Leste and has hosted a range of educational and other activities aimed at nurturing pride in East Timorese culture and promoting skills development.

Founder and Chairperson

The Reading Room was established by Dr. Kirsty Sword Gusmao, AO and Goodwill Ambassador for Education. As founder and patron, Mrs Gusmão has been involved in its operation ever since it opened.


This complex houses memorabilia from Xanana Gusmão, and there is a library, bookshop, exhibition space, audio visual area and internet available. Artwork on display includes those Xanana Gusmão painted while imprisoned in Jakarta.

Board of Management

It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the Manager is doing his job well and that the XGRR is not at risk. Regular board meetings are held, board members participate in events and fundraising. The board members are as follows:

Chair: Kirsty Sword Gusmão
Deputy Chair: João Jose Carolina Madeira Martires


  • Sandra Gusmão
  • Maria Isabel de Jesus Ximenes
  • Sebastiao da Costa E Silva
  • Mara Vanessa Morais Grazuna Pires Bernardes de Sá
  • Francisca Maia
  • Jenny Coles
  • Dulce de Jesus Soares
  • Natalino Soares O. Guterres
  • Ilidio Ximenes da Costa
  • Delwyn Ann Elizabeth Bovill
  • Han Rog Kang
  • Tony Franklin


  • Anya Dettman. National Library of Australia
  • Ina Fautua. New Zealand
  • Patti Manolis. CEO Geelong Libraries, Australia


Our staff is dedicated, wonderful and will be helpful when you visit the Reading Room. We love visitors. We look forward to hosting you.

Permanent Staff

  • Gaspar Freitas, Manager
  • Manuel Soares, Operations Coordinator
  • Flavia Henriques, Finance Officer
  • Maria Amaral Guterres, Scholarship Program Administrator
  • Arsenio da Costa, Digital Library Assistant
  • Felizarda Tilman, Customer Service Assistant and Officer of in charge for Finance and HR

Temporary Volunteers


  • Jeronimo Fernandes
  • Inacio de Loiola Soares
  • Noe Lopes


  • Delwyn Ann Elizabeth Bovill – VSA, Resource Center Management Adviser: 13 Aug 2013 – 13 July 2017
  • Rachel Hutchison – VSA, Library and Museum Assistant: 7 February 2016 – 6 December 2016
  • Marie-Jo Wilson – VSA, Human Resource Mentor: 5 Oct 2016 – 19 Jul 2017
  • Sam Knowles – VSA, MArketing and Cultural Events Assistant: 23 Feb 2017 – 17 Jan 2018
  • Hugo Egan – VSA, Marketing and Library Coordination Assistant: 26 Feb 2018 – 30 Jan 2019
  • Petro Smith – VSA, English Language Mentor: 4 Nov 2018 – 21 Oct 2019
  • Nicole Wiseman – AVI, Mentor to Manager, 2003-2005
  • Peter Creevey – AVI, 2000