News: 25 more prepare to volunteer overseas

The Hermitage, Mittagong
25 Australians will prepare over the coming 9 days for cross-cultural work as part of Palms Australia’s 90th Orientation Course in Mittagong, New South Wales.

The group, the largest group of participants for 7 years, includes volunteer teachers, administrators, accountants, lawyers, youth workers and project managers, amongst others.

Following the course, Palms’ volunteers will depart for work in PNG, East Timor, Samoa, Kiribati and Uganda.

There are also several discerning their potential role in contributing to developing a peaceful and just world and three participants from the National Council of Churches Australia’s EAPPI programme, which involves travelling to Israel/Palestine in a peace monitoring capacity.

Over the nine day course, participants will focus on themes of health, culture and development, with sessions challenging them to question pre-conceived notions about development, volunteering, different cultures including their own, indigenous perspectives and themselves.

“This course, our 90th, builds upon the wisdom and experience of so many academics, practitioners and volunteers over Palms’ 49 year history.” Benjamin Oh, the course coordinator, explained. “It is gratifying to share such a comprehensive preparation program with another group.”

The course is hosted at The Hermitage, Mittagong, in the beautiful Southern Highlands region. The distance from the city allows participants to forget their daily concerns to concentrate fully on their journey.

Another course is scheduled for July 2010, with people interested in volunteering asked to contact Palms Australia now.

“The process of preparation for a volunteer placement cannot be rushed. Even prior to the course there is much self-evaluation which must occur to ensure volunteers are able to contribute positively to their host communities.”

“We owe that much to our overseas partners, donors and members.”

To express an interest in volunteering, or just ask about attending the 91st course in July, contact Brendan Joyce on (02) 9518 9551 or online.

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True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. - Martin Luther King Jr