LITTLE usually separates these three Launceston friends when they are on a mission.
But the unlikely trio might need some help to bring off their fait accompli at the end of this year - a university graduation.
Damon Smith is a Tasmania Police constable who served time in East Timor more than three years ago.
Betty Goncalves is East Timorese, a daughter of one of her country's freedom fighters.
She has lived in Launceston for the past two years while she studies to become a nurse at the University of Tasmania.
Isabel Elmore's husband Wal, or Snow, as he was known in the army, was a member of Tasmania's ill-fated 2/40 Battalion.
He always told his wife that he owed his life to the ``creados,'' or young East Timorese boys during World War II when Mr Elmore and a group of 2/40th mates were trying to escape the Japanese in the East Timor jungle.
Mrs Elmore, a former nurse, has been looking out for Ms Goncalves as she has struggled to cope with nurse training in a new country with a different language and being a long way from her family.
Constable Smith decided to sponsor Ms Goncalves' nurse training in Tasmania after getting to know her family and their country while on duty there.
``They desperately need Western-trained nurses,'' he said.
With the help of the Tasmanian community he has managed to get Ms Goncalves through to the start of the last year of her nursing degree.
He is now trying to raise the last $10,000 needed for her final year.
Ms Goncalves' mission is to become the first Western-trained nurse recruited to the staff of the Dili Hospital in East Timor.
She has volunteered at one of the health clinics and with the ambulance service during holidays back home but knows that her new skills will be best used in the country's acute care hospital.
Constable Smith said that East Timor was still a third world country that was struggling to introduce the health hygiene and safety standards that other countries took for granted.
Those who want to know more about helping Betty Goncalves to complete her nurse training can contact Constable Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org