Our programs challenge students to consider practical solutions to complex real world issues.
We implement comprehensive risk management strategies to ensure our travel programs are operated to the highest safety standards.
Community and environment is at the heart of all our travel programs. We create meaningful travel experiences beneficial for people and the planet.
ITINERARY DESIGN & FOCUS
We liaise with group leaders to design travel experiences that focus on group learning objectives. We do this by connecting your group with relevant community members and partnering organizations throughout Timor-Leste.
EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS - PARTNERING ORGANISATIONS
Our programs aim to support the work of existing organizations and development initiatives in Timor-Leste. We do this by engaging local organizations to provide high-quality learning workshops for our groups. Our partnering organizations are carefully selected to ensure students are provided with an enriching learning experience and expose students to a range of industries, community groups, and international experts.
Our programs in the past have included educational workshops on the following topics:
Permaculture and agriculture
Marine and environmental conservation
Traditional food and hospitality
Health and hygiene
Physical education and sport
By participating in a Timor Unearthed tour program you are supporting the development of future tourism leaders. We emphasize to our staff that our travel programs are also an opportunity for them to learn. Our team consists of senior tour guides (experienced and skilled staff who have extensive experience working in tourism) and junior staff (recent tourism graduates with little to no experiences working in tourism). Our junior staff receive training and mentorship from our senior management team with our training program involving theory and practical elements. Our programs are designed to be a shared learning experience for all involved.
All our staff receive training in the following modules;
Module 1: Tour Operations Workplace Health and Safety
Identifying hazards and risks
Conducting risk assessments for tour programs
Understanding and applying the hierarchy of controls to tourism activities
Understanding roles and responsibilities for safety management
Applying basic first aid
Reviewing safety management systems
Acting in accordance with Timor Unearthed Safe Driving Protocols
Module 2: Safe Driving Practices
Understanding Timor-Leste's road laws
Vehicle maintenance and condition assessments
Acting in accordance with Timor Unearthed Safe Driving Protocols
Module 3: Child Protection Training
Understanding care needs of children
Identifying child maltreatment
Understanding our commitment and responsibility to ensure the safety of all children who travel with us and live in the villages we work in
Acting in accordance with Timor Unearthed Child Protection Policy and Reporting Protocol
Modules 4: Tour Guide Skills and Knowledge
Historical and cultural knowledge
Public speaking, and storytelling skills
Tour preparation and logistics
Managing traveler expectations and problem-solving
Tour guide training for homestay training programs
Principals of sustainable and ethical tourism
Understanding key aspects of Timor-Leste's National Tourism Policy and Strategic Development Plan
Acting in accordance with Timor Unearthed Staff Code of Conduct
Modules 5: Emergency Response
Understanding and identifying potential emergency situations
Acting in accordance with Timor Unearthed Emergency Response Protocols
Providing a safe travel experience is our number one priority. Safety regulations in Timor-Leste are lax in comparison to a country like Australia, however, Timor Unearthed operates to ensures all our programs have thorough risk management strategies in place. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our travelers, staff and the communities we operate in.
PRE-DEPARTURE RISK ASSESSMENTS
All our programs involve a comprehensive risk assessment prior to departure. This includes evaluating itinerary designs, locations we travel to, activities we undertake and providers we use. All our staff are involved in pre-departure risk assessment evaluations.
PRE-DEPARTURE SAFETY BRIEFING
All our travelers participate in a detailed pre-departure safety discussion. This ensures everyone in the group is aware of potential hazards and risks and is capable of adhering to our safety management strategies while traveling in Timor-Leste.
TAKE 5 RISK ASSESSMENTS
While traveling in Timor-Leste our team conducts regular Take 5 Risk Assessments. This is where we 'take 5 minutes' to assess the daily activities and identify our controls in place to manage potential risks. In the Take 5 Risk Assessments, we discuss changes to weather, locations, activities, road conditions, group wellbeing, and any other unforeseen changes that might have occurred during our travels.
We provide training opportunities to all our staff including workplace health and safety, risk assessment training, emergency procedures training, first aid training, child protection training, and safe driving training. Training in workplace health and safety for tour operations is a core focus for our team in 2020.
We have comprehensive plans in place in the unlikely case of an emergency or medical evacuation. We ensure all our emergency procedures and contact information is reviewed and updated.
We acknowledge our tours have an impact on the environment by producing greenhouse gas emissions (through transport, products consumed, fires for cooking, etc). WithOneSeed is Timor-Leste first Gold Standard verified carbon forestry program in Timor Leste. WithOneSeed work with subsistence farming communities to replant their forests thereby creating a carbon store to build local economies, deliver practical education and training in agroforestry and permaculture to create a more sustainable, equal and just world. We are proud to offset our carbon footprint through the WithOneSeed project. Find out more about WithOneSeed at www.withoneseed.org.au.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
Timor-Leste is a beautiful country with incredible natural resources such as pristine coral reefs and tropical forests. However, like many developing nations waste management is a big challenge. Timor Unearthed is committed to reducing and recycling our waste. On arrival in Timor-Leste we brief all our travellers on the importance of sustainable consumer choices and waste management in Timor. As a reminder of our commitment, we provide all our travelers with a eco-friendly shopping bag made by a local women's group. Clean drinking water is always provided in dispensers to reduce the need to buy plastic water bottles. Whenever possible, we bring all our waste back to recycling facilities in Dili. We are always looking to improve our commitment to waste management.
Kaka is our Sustainability Advisor and the co-ordinator of a local environmental education NGO 3Rs Timor-Leste. Kaka plays an important role by ensuring we operate to the highest possible environmental standards and providing our groups with educational presentations.
SUPPORT LIKE-MINDED BUSINESSES
We endeavor to support businesses with the same sustainable and ethical values. Whenever possible, we always take our travelers to restaurants and accommodation that are conscious of their impacts. This may include businesses that use local seasonal produce, are conscious of waste production, and invest in staff development.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORKS
The Timor-Leste National Tourism Policy, Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan, and the Steps to Sustainable Tourism Approach provide a detailed framework for our program designs.
We work to empower communities through sustainable tourism opportunities. All our programs are designed through consultations with the local communities, and organisations.