Former Services Coordinator, Ending Violence Against Women Program (EVAW), Timor-Leste

Kathryn Robertson left the Foundation in June 2017.

Kathryn Robertson has been working on human rights and development issues in Asia since 1999. She is professionally trained as a Social Worker and has concentrated her work on violence against women, human rights and social and economic equality. After several years of working in services for women who have experienced violence, Kathryn focused her work on social and economic policies which can enable women’s equality. In 1999, Kathryn worked on human rights and economic issues with The Canada Asia Working Group. She was responsible for a portfolio which included the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and regional issues including APEC, migrant workers, garment workers and debt issues post-Asian financial crisis. In her monitoring and advocacy on human rights, Kathryn presented at consultations with the Canadian Government and at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Kathryn began living in Timor-Leste in 2001 and has observed and participated in the development of the country and civil society. She was with the International Rescue Committee where she led programming on violence against women, which included the first prevalence research on violence in Timor-Leste, the first research on customary justice and domestic violence and establishment of a new service to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Following the Tsunami in 2004, Kathryn established operations for the Catholic Development Agency of Ireland (Trocaire) in Asia and managed Euro 33 million in funding to respond to the Tsunami and support preparation and resilience to future disasters in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines. One of the outputs Trocaire facilitated during this time included the film, “Tales of Disasters”, which won an award from the Council of Europe for development education.

From 2009, Kathryn’s work focused on support to civil society organizations in Timor-Leste working on human rights, governance and livelihoods issues. This included support to the establishment of the land network Rede ba Rai, research and advocacy on land laws, and support to publish disseminate the report of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reception Commission.

Together with colleagues, Kathryn established a locally based consulting company, Hametin whose clients included Oxfam, Care, ODI, Caritas Australia, The World Bank, Plan, and The Asia Foundation. Kathryn began working with The Asia Foundation in 2014 with the Australian government funded Nabilan program. Kathryn’s role in this program (which is focused on violence against women and children) is to provide technical assistance to NGO partners and government to strengthen the quality and reach of services to respond to violence against women and children.

Education: Kathryn Robertson studied Social Work, receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria (Canada) and her master’s degree from the University of Toronto.