Palms Post: March 2009

March 2009 cover
This Palms Post explores new directions for Palms Australia, including a new website, new design for Palms Post itself, new programs and new engagement with government.

There is also a theme focussing on the variety of different programs Palms is running in partnership with Timorese communities, including a touching letter from a partner thanking Palms for the volunteers we have provided.

View the Complete March 2009 Palms Post here (1156 kB)
or read individual articles by following the links below.

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Director’s Report

Continuing the talk of new directions (and this is not just visiting the past) Palms has approached the Rudd Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Development, Bob McMullan, about a new partnership arrangement.

Palms’ Encounters

Embedded within the Palms CommUNITY initiative, Palms’ Cross-Cultural Encounter Program will offer something quite different, indeed unique, as it is about engaging not just participants, but about growth for communities on the sending and hosting end as well.

A Pauline Year

The Pauline year offers an opportunity to reflect on St Paul’s “vigorous spirituality of faith, hope and charity”, follow in his footsteps of visiting many communities and work peacefully across boundaries, whether religious or cultural, for the good of all people.

Embracing Volunteer Vulnerability

Released from her fear of inadequacy, our volunteer is free to share the responsibility for the project. She not only seeks local advice, she allows local direction. She views herself as a resource for use in achieving needs they have identified, not as the primary actor aiming to achieve some outcomes developed across the ocean.

Letters from Timor-Leste

Donna Furler is volunteering as a Dental Associate for Bairo Pite Clinic, which serves Dili and surrounding regions, Timor-Leste.

Palms Australia’s 89th Orientation Course

The course opened my eyes to worlds I never knew existed, even though they’re right on my doorstep. I look at people differently to what I used to, seeing someone with a past worth knowing; someone who is no doubt intelligent, articulate and very knowledgeable in the world that I live next to.

Partner’s Perspective: a letter from Ahisaun

We met many people from Palms’ organisation who supported us, including Mr Michael and Mrs Cheree, who returned to Australia following security concerns in 2006. Following this we received two new volunteers, Mr Daniel and his wife Mrs Beth.

Palms Australia welcomes Cardinal Pell…

As part of his visit to St James’ Parish, Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell visited Palms Australia’s head office on Thursday 13th November 2008.

Re-engagement with Government

Preliminary discussions with Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Development Assistance, have indicated a willingness to dialogue with agencies and partners rather than dictate to them. Hopefully, this more respectful attitude will also be extended to overseas partners.

Letters from East Timor

I am pleased I have come. The adventures so far have been within my ability to cope, although there have certainly been days when I have wondered how I will manage.

Volunteer Futures Forum

On Friday February 13th, the University of Wollongong and Palms Australia hosted the “Volunteering Futures Forum” in Wollongong.

Reverse Immersion

Palms has offered Ahisaun the opportunity for Angelino Bona Vides (who translated the letter in the March edition of the Palms Post) to come and spend three months in Sydney working with Palms staff in our office.

There is both a moral and social responsibility attaching to these experiences of foreign cultures,
and if nothing awakens in our own soul, making claims and demands upon us,
calling us to change the way we live, then we have been merely parasites and invaders. - David Tacey