Palms Post: February 2013 Palms Post

February 2013 Palms PostFollowing our 94th orientation course, Roger reflects on his ongoing re-orientation and the importance of maintaining Palms’ ability to be a learning organisation.

We also have 1 detailed (Heather Henderson who will be continuing Palms’ long relationship with Atabae) and 10 brief profiles of volunteers taking up the challenge of living cross-culturally in Zambia, Timor-Leste, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea.

The call to be involved in commUNITY is as strong as ever as we realise that often the most important work of volunteers is contributing to cultural change at home.

Margaret Fogarty writes of the inspiring women she works with in Timor-Leste and a call to consider remembering Palms Australia in your will so that we can continue to respond to our overseas partners and form advocates for justice in Australia.

A series of events, including Information Sessions, a book launch, our 95th Orientation Course and our second annual Solidarity Awards, are listed and we launch Palms Encounter: Kiribati in April. Sign up now.

Finally there is Brendan’s contribution to development blog whydev.org’s discussion of the challenges for non-religious people working for faith-based agencies.

Download the Complete February 2013 Palms Post (823 kB) as a PDF.

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My ongoing re-orientation

Yes, we go out to others with vocational skills, but we must never think for a moment that this is the most important part of Palms’ Mission. We must never think that we have so much more to offer our hosts with our Western approaches, most of which are failing on so many levels. What do we know of sustainability, interdependence, solidarity?

Palms’ 94th, my first

By the end of the course, our understanding and knowledge had risen exponentially. The bonds and commonality of participants had strengthened as well. I have no fears now about going to East Timor. I am just excited to meet all my new colleagues and friends that I will discover during my journey.

New faces

Brief profiles of 10 of our volunteers taking up placements in Zambia, PNG, East Timor and Kiribati.

Passing the torch

No longer is the priority receiving a volunteer to focus on classroom teaching. Now, Atabae’s teaching assistants have asked for a teacher to focus on enhancing their skills in program planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation.

A legacy in two lands

Bequests not only assist development of communities seeking to reduce poverty, but ultimately build the awareness and capacity of more Australians to engage in human development. They can begin a never ending contribution to Palms’ vision of a just and peaceful world free of poverty.

Inspiring women drive change

OHM is the only local NGO still to be in operation in the whole of Bobonaro district. We worked diligently on submissions – not knowing if/when the project might be cancelled.

Encounter the frontlines of climate change

This year, for the first time, Palms will bring two Encounter groups to Kiribati.

Everybody benefits

It is always interesting to try to get people to see the value of engaging in international development in collaboration with an organisation like Palms, rather than by putting resources into a project or materials that they self-identify as good aid. I understand the distrust given the way some organisations appear to burn funds on […]

Upcoming events

In 2013, we have scheduled Information Sessions, Re-entry workshop, Orientation Course, Palms Encounters, a book launch and our second annual Solidarity Awards.

Faith-based in a secular world

Should faith-based organisations require all staff to hold the faith? What should be the expectations of non-religious staff working for a faith-based organisation?


The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, the imagination and the resources of its people. - Ernesto Sirolli