Kirsty Sword Gusmao, the Australian wife of East Timor's prime minister Xanana Gusmao, is moving to Melbourne with their children for about six months to undergo treatment for breast cancer.
Mrs Gusmao said the treatment – which will involve hormonal and radiotherapy and could also include chemotherapy, would be decided with her surgeon this week, following her "successful" surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre last week.
She and Mr Gusmao were optimistic about her condition given the advances in Australian medical care, calling her doctor Professor Michael Henderson "the best a woman could have" and breast care nurses at the centre "angels".
“Catching it early and having it removed early followed up by the best possible treatment gives us this confidence," she said.
Mrs Gusmao and her three sons Alexander, Kayolok and Daniel, will live with her family in Rosebud during the course of her treatment.
“They are quite looking forward to this and having more time with Grandma Rosalie. The curriculum they follow in Timor-Leste is similar to that of the Australian one, which means their transition will be seamless.”
Mr Gusmao, who was in Melbourne last week for her surgery, flew back to East Timor on Monday.
“Xanana of course has to attend to his responsibilities and duties of state...(but) you can expect to see just a little bit more of Xanana in Melbourne," Mrs Gusmao said.
Xanana Gusmao and Kirsty Sword Gusmao were married in 2000, and when East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 he was the newborn country's first President and she was its first First Lady.
The two met in 1994, while she was working as an English teacher and while he was serving a 20-year sentence in an Indonesian prison for leading an East Timorese resistance group.
Mrs Gusmao is also President of the ALOLA Foundation, an organisation which supports women and children in East Timor, and a Goodwill Ambassador for Education.