News: Orientation Course #92

Simulation exercises provide a deep insight into the challenges of working cross-culturally for development, and some useful tools. Pictured: Lawrence Chan, Fulvio Fabreschi, Ian Gray and Margaret Fogarty engage in nuanced trade negotiations.
At Mt St Benedict Centre, Pennant Hills, Palms Australia ran its 92nd Cross-Cultural Orientation Course for international volunteers.

Palms’ “classics” such as simulation exercises, scenarios, field trips, Telling the Story from All Sides, Culture Shock, Physical Health, Language Learning and the always popular Returnees Day were joined by new sessions on Program Design, Monitoring and Evaluation and Personal Security.

Twenty-one participants attended, anticipating placements in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Timor-Leste, with others still discerning their options.

Female and male; recently graduated and recently retired; health, administration, technology and education professionals;  the diversity of perspectives and the interactions between them enhance the content for participants and make each course a learning experience for Palms’ staff.

There is something very rewarding about watching such a group interact, sharing their own expertise while working through Palms’ cross-cultural program, refined over 50 years.

That Palms Australia can still attract professional volunteers of such a high personal calibre, with such enthusiasm for our vision of a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world, is testimony to all those who have contributed to shaping and furthering that vision over many years.

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Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. - Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe