Where do we work?: Kiribati


Population: 110,356

Area: 811 sq. km.

Median Age: 20.6

Literacy: 94 %

Languages: I-Kiribati, English

The Republic of Kiribati is an island nation located in the central Pacific Ocean. The country’s 33 atolls are scattered over 3,500,000 square kilometres.

The isolation of Kiribati has led to a unique culture, rich in singing and dancing. Family and community are central to this traditional fishing society, but life does not always match the idyllic image many have of Pacific Island life.

Its coral make-up and limited supply of fresh water limit local agriculture to coconuts, pandanus and breadfruit. Pollution and global warming are damaging the coral reefs and with increased commercial fishing, are reducing the supply of fresh fish available to the local people.

The majority of the country is located less than 3m above sea level. It is expected that many I-Kiribati will be environmental refugees within 50 years.

Current Volunteers   Recent Volunteers
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Below are some profiles of volunteers currently working in Kiribati.

Sue Ryan

Sue Ryan, a teacher from New Zealand, has volunteered to work as a science teacher with Sacred Heart High School, Kiribati.

Marlene Rasmussen

Marlene Rasmussen

Marlene Rasmussen is volunteering as a Bursar for the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru.


Helena Charlesworth

Helena Charlesworth, from Tasmania, is volunteering for Sacred Heart College, Tarawa, for two years.

Greetings from Kiribati

January 19, 2015

On the Port resize

Helena Charlesworth, volunteer at Sacred Heart High School, Tarawa, Kiribati, returns to her placement after Christmas in a very different place She writes- It was lovely to be back in Australia, especially the week I spent in my home town, Devonport (Tas.) which I hadn’t visited for the past three years. Being with friends there and […]

An Outer Island Experience- Marakei, Kiribati by Marlene Rasmussen

September 15, 2014

the Seawall

Wednesday 27th August dawned as a normal day, off to work for a  busy day in the office.   At a minute’s notice I caught the flight to Marakei. Sue needed my car to collect her paint; she collected the paint and dropped me off at the airport. A truck was waiting to pick me […]

Encounters: A commitment to action

January 31, 2014

Encounter Participants Timor-Leste 2012

Palms Encounter group visiting a women’s cooperative in Morobo, Timor-Leste, July 2012 I’m often asked why Palms runs Encounters to Timor-Leste and Kiribati. After all, Palms isn’t a travel company and the communities that we visit are often not well equipped to accommodate tourists. I absolutely agree with these two statements and strangely enough they […]

Meet our 10 newest volunteers

November 29, 2013


We have another wonderful group of volunteers, ready to depart for Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

David Le Breton volunteering in Kiribati


David Le Breton’s second Palms volunteer placement will involve sharing trade and management skills at the Teaoraereke Village Workshop in Kiribati.

A different way of being

August 14, 2013


Sue Ryan, a science teacher, lecturer and deputy principal from New Zealand is finding that volunteering in Kiribati is not as slow-paced as one might expect.


May 14, 2013

While reading our volunteer stories in each edition of Palms Post, have you ever wanted to just fly over and see for yourself?

Encounter the frontlines of climate change

February 18, 2013

A sea wall holds back the ocean in a Palms Australia volunteer’s backyard in Bikenibeu, Tarawa, Kiribati.

This year, for the first time, Palms will bring two Encounter groups to Kiribati.

Below are some of the volunteer positions Palms Australia is seeking to fill in . To find out more about any position or about other opportunities, please enquire about volunteering with Palms Australia.

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. - Charles du Bois