Encounters

What is a Palms Encounter?

A Palms Encounter is the perfect way to learn more about international volunteering.

The cross-cultural experiences are designed to provide an insight into the daily life of people of another culture; an understanding of sustainable approaches to development, including ecological sustainability; and an insight into the life and work of development volunteers.

Palms Encounters are designed to maximise benefits for participants and host communities, avoiding perpetuating negative or romanticised stereotypes of other cultures. As a result they may not always be comfortable and may in fact challenge participants perceptions of a number of issues. They will, however, be more beneficial in understanding the truth about global interdependence and the roles that different people can take in making the world a better place for all.

The full Encounter program includes pre-departure preparation, an overseas Encounter Visit including support and guidance in-country and activities upon re-entry to maintain the connections developed.

An experienced development professional will guide your trip, providing food for thought and opportunities for deep reflections on your observations. Issues relating to culture, development, poverty, trade, ecology, faith and education will be raised.

Numbers of participants on Palms Encounters are limited to a maximum of 8 participants per trip, so as to avoid overwhelming our host communities, and to enhance the intimate experience.

How do we book?

Following receipt of your booking with a deposit of $1000, Palms Australia will forward an Encounter pack, including advice on what to do in the months before departure, information about Palms Australia, and some information about what to expect from the experience.

Group Bookings

We welcome enquiries from work, school or community groups who would like to book a private Encounter, get in touch.

The Itinerary

Part 1 – Preparation Prior to Departure

To get the most out of your Encounter visit, participants are recommended a range of activities that provide a sound framework with which to engage cross-culturally in a respectful and appropriate way from day one.

Part 2 – The Journey

Timor-Leste: Departing Darwin, each visit includes 3 days on tropical Atauro Island and approximately 9 days visiting development volunteers and projects in the field. The exact number of days spent in each location may vary depending on transport, weather and other considerations.

The people of Suco Beloi and Nema’s Eco-Lodge on Atauro Island give participants an introduction to eco-tourism, Timorese culture, history, art, permaculture and food. Following this introduction to Timorese life, you will visit Palms Global Volunteers to see the role Australians play in reducing global poverty.

At the end of each day, guided activities will assist participants in gaining a deeper understanding of the new sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures and experiences, and perhaps challenge some of your own cultural ideas.

Throughout your Encounter journey, you will visit Palms Australian volunteers in placement and will meet their local counterparts. You will have the opportunity to learn about their work and will see the role Australians can play in reducing global poverty.

At the end of each day, guided activities will assist participants in gaining a deeper understanding of the new sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures and experiences, and perhaps challenge some of your own cultural ideas.

Part 3 – Post Encounter

Upon return to Australia you will receive further reflection activities and opportunities for action, based upon your experience and new understanding of another culture.

For more info call us today on (02) 9560 5333 or contact us online.