IT'S a long way from the Clarence to East Timor, but for an Ulmarra family of four, the small nation has become a much-loved home.
Motivated to help people less fortunate, Samuel and Cynthia Bacon arrived in East Timor in 2004, returning regularly before finally building their own home in a small fishing village on the edge of Dili with their two children, Serenity (12) and Israel (6).
The family is involved in a number of local projects, including Bellekria, a small business which provides training and employment opportunities for local women in sewing, embroidery, designing, marketing, sales and accounting.
Bellekria produces and distributes locally made items to fill local needs, including modern cloth nappies and cloth pads, while giving women a chance to take small loans and secure a better future for their families.
Recently Mr Bacon has taken up a full-time role as a Climate Change Advisor with an Aus AID-funded program called Seeds of Life, researching improved varieties of staple crops like corn and rice to help farmers grow the food they need.