News: Palms Australia highly commended

Palms Australia, based in Glebe, has already emerged as winners from the Westpac Community Idol competition of 2009, having received a special commendation from the panel of expert community judges.

Palms Australia supports sustainable development in overseas countries by connecting them with Australian skilled volunteers. Palms’ volunteers working in disability have established a disabled swimming group in Wewak, Papua New Guinea, developed the capacity of an East Timorese NGO so that it could provide support for girls with disabilities; passed on skills in natural therapy and community based rehabilitation techniques which are more appropriate for isolated rural locations.

Palms Australia also runs the Fair Trade Coffee Company on Glebe Point Road. The Fair Trade cafe promotes just global trade practices, hosts community events, has provided the basis for training of Timorese hospitality graduates and directs all profits to Palms’ Overseas Development initiatives.

“We’ve had a record number of entries for Idol this year,” says Rhonda Galbally AO, CEO of Our Community. “It’s been a real struggle to take the hundreds of worthy community groups vying for Idol status and select the absolute cream of the crop that deserve special recognition.”

The Westpac Community Idol is an annual competition recognising outstanding work by Australia’s 700,000 community groups in fields as diverse as sport, environment, indigenous and literacy. Groups can be large or small from anywhere in the country. Westpac Community Idol is part of the Communities in Control conference held in Melbourne each June. Idol finalists argue their credentials to a ‘jury’ of about 1500 conference attendees who vote on should take home the coveted Idol status and $6000 worth or cash and prizes from Westpac and Our Community.

As a commendee, Palms Australia has picked up a free ticket to this year’s conference as well as a 12-month subscription to several prestigious fundraising and organisation-building newsletters.

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