Dili International School developed organically to accommodate the needs of the East Timorese and expatriate community in the immediate post referendum development period.

With a four year assignment to Timor Leste in the early 2000s and a need to educate their own three children, Carmel Bates and Tony Haritos started Dili International School from their home in Kampong Alor in July 2002. In February 2003 they had taken out a lease for a larger building in Pantai Kelapa and all grades of Primary School were made available. In May a Preschool and Playgroup class were offered. In January 2006 as a consequence of many requests for Secondary schooling, the Secondary Distance Education Support program was started.

The civil unrest or Crisis of 2006, saw a decline in families in Timor Leste either voluntarily or at the urging of their employers. DIS responded to the crisis by closing early for the holiday break and re opened having lost no student contact time. This was achieved through the hard work and dedication of our Principal Steve Castley and other teaching staff at the time.

The continued high level security warnings imposed by different agencies in the post conflict period made it difficult for DIS to recruit staff and it was not until January 2008 that DIS was able to have a full complement of qualified teaching staff again.

Sarah Bonney was appointed Principal in January 2008 which heralded a time of renewal and consolidation. The school further developed its identity and infrastructure, policies and procedures were formalized for best practice in teaching and learning.

In September 2009 Sarah handed over Principal ship to Alison Bailey, a long standing member of our teaching staff. Alison's knowledge and experience of Timor Leste and DIS made this an ideal appointment which would ensure a continuation of the good principles and practices already established.

At the start of the 2010 school year DIS introduced face to face teaching classes for Secondary students to replace the Distance Education programs for students in years 7-10 and application as a school of interest was made with the International Baccalaureate Association to introduce the IB Middle Years program. In 2012 DIS was authorized by the International Baccalaureate to offer the IB Middle Years Programme and in 2014 it was authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme.

In April of 2013 DIS, through its association with Haileybury College in Melbourne Australia was accredited by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Association (Australia) to offer the Victorian Certificate of Education which gives the school an internationally recognized high school leaving certificate.

2014 Dili International School Celebrate Mother Tongue Day

Last update: March 7, 2015