Palms Post: December 2009

December 2009 Palms Post
This edition of Palms Post focusses on new placements Palms will be filling in 2010.

A number of new placements is viewed with each article highlighting a different element of the placement: from Community Development to commUNITY Support; from familial relationships to ongoing cross-cultural relationships.

We also meet Angelino from Timor-Leste, Palms’ latest reverse immersion participant and hear from Monica Morrison, in the field in Timor-Leste.

Long-term office volunteer Damian Keane is farewelled and we conduct a pre-Christmas fundraising campaign to help place the profiled volunteers overseas.

View the Complete December 2009 Palms Post here (1382 kB)
or read individual articles by following the links below.

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Christmas: Giving and Receiving New Life

Do you want to give new life this Christmas? After 10 years as Executive Director it dawns on me that what Palms does in the lead up to Christmas each year is very apt. It is a time in which we start earnestly preparing volunteers for a new life and we prepare requesting communities for receiving new life.

Give a Volunteer this Christmas and be ready to receive.

If Palms were an employment agency in Australia the organisations seeking employees with specific skills would be our clients and pay good money for the service. However, this is not simply a market driven relationship between client and service-provider.

The volunteer bug (new placements)

Peter and Elaine Smyth In 2010, Palms Australia will place Peter and Elaine Smyth at Divine Word University in Madang, PNG. They will work as a Legal Advisor and Personnel Manager respectively, training local staff to implement new legal, administrative and personnel policies. Their work will increase DWU’s capacity in building effective global partnership, improving […]

Angelino’s story

Angelino is Palms’ latest Reverse Immersion participant. Here he explains what that involves and how it will benefit him and Ahisaun Foundation where he works in Timor-Leste.

Continuing a Longitudinal relationship with Ahisaun (new placements)

Beyond the volunteer, Palms as an organisation believes very strongly in maintaining strong and healthy relationships with our partners, those communities and organisations who host Palms volunteers. Just one of these many “organisational” relationships has been the one with the Ahisaun Disabilities Foundation, in Dili, East Timor.

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality; MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health

“We all know ‘Breast is Best’. But each case is individual and should be treated as needs require at the time. I believe, the photo shows the reality of our undernourished mothers and the environment they have to survive in.”

Community Development in Uganda (new placements)

There are times when you are truly inspired by the commitment of people to their project and the potential the project has to make a difference. On a recent scoping visit to Ethiopia and Uganda, I was struck by this sense many times.

Letter from Timor-Leste

Monica Morrison, from Mollymook NSW, is volunteering to provide Professional Development support at Catholic Teachers’ College, Baucau, Timor-Leste.

Local community engagement (new placements)

Palms’ mission clearly states that a volunteer placement is not solely about the volunteer exchanging skills with a global community. Volunteering also provides great opportunities “to engage Australian communities and partner communities through Global Volunteers so that each increases their awareness and enthusiasm to encourage just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful development.”

Volunteers need not be damaging

The MDGs are important because they represent an international agreement on some important and necessary goals. Such agreement, however, does not remove the significance of cultural interpretation. In a given context, there are potentially many different means to these ends.

Rest in Peace Br Damian Keane OH 1928 – 2009

Recently Palms received the sad news that Br Damian Keane, who for 10 years had volunteered in our office, passed away on Saturday October 10th at Concord Hospital. Damian turned 81 the previous week.


I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands
to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. - Mohandas Gandhi