The Carmelites are a Catholic order with a tradition of over 800 years working and serving the community in many and varied ways through parish life, prayer, education and formation, spirituality programs, retreats, communications and library services.

We respond to the needs of people by empowering and accompanying them in their experiences and in their faith both here in Australia and in East Timor.

At the heart of Carmelite life is a deep commitment to being involved in community, offering hospitality and providing spiritual guidance to all those whom we serve.

The Carmelites have a long tradition of service in Australia which has spanned across the country dating back to 1881. Now our deep commitment to service encompasses East Timor in the areas of education of young East Timorese and development aid for the people of Zumalai, East Timor. We are devoted to working with those in need.

Our commitment to community, prayer and action makes the Australia and East Timor Order of The Carmelites a strong force in serving those in search of spiritual nourishment, knowledge, and guidance through all the services we offer.

The Carmelite mission in the Zumalai sub-district covers 30 villages and 14,000 people. Malnutrition is rife and the water supply is unfit for human consumption but is the only source of water for drinking. The very poor water infrastructure and unsafe drinking water in this area are some of the worst in the country.

Currently there is one natural water spring in the township itself. It is here women and children fetch water in large plastic containers from the spring and carry the water back to their homes on foot, walking up to one hour, sometimes several times a day.

This water is used for cooking, drinking and washing. The containers used are not sanitized and the water itself carries diseases and causes sickness.

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