Palms Post: March 2011

March 2011 Palms Post
The first edition of Palms Post in our Jubilee year both celebrates our past and focuses on the future.

Stories of returnees, including Colleen Keating’s reflection on late 1960s Madang, demonstrate the long term benefits volunteering has on the individuals who volunteer, the communities with which they work and the communities to whom they return.

While taking the opportunity this year to reflect on the past, Palms Australia will continue to focus on what needs to be done now to achieve our vision of a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world. Our most recently placed volunteers are profiled and we call for the next generation with the promotion of positions our partners would like filled.

View the Complete March 2011 Palms Post here (739 kB)
or read individual articles by following the links below.

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Working Positively with Philosophical Tensions

Nichole Georgeou’s research, undertaken on a cohort of Palms’ volunteers over three years (2006-2009), has received a commendation from one examiner and was described the thesis as ‘a path-breaking ethnographic study’ by the second. Nichole uses a framework that contrasts ‘neo-liberal technocratic’ and ‘political dynamic’ approaches to development volunteering to examine her findings. She explains […]

1-Year positions beginning July 2011

Palms Australia is currently seeking to fill twenty 1-year positions beginning in July 2011. Positions may be eligible for full funding, though volunteers would need to depart immediately following our July Orientation Course. We particularly encourage enquiries and applications from returned volunteers, who might be interested in giving one more year. Positions are available in […]

New Positions

Of our 13 participants in January’s Orientation Course, 8 have confirmed placements which will begin in the coming months, with several others awaiting final placement details.

Preparing to work in another culture

It is unfair to expect either volunteer or host to work effectively together without preparation. Palms’ Orientation Course reflects its philosophical view that cross-cultural relationship building is at the core of sustainable development outcomes.

A Sustainable Ambulance Service

We are desperately lacking in equipment and the training has yet to be commenced but on the positive side there is certainly no lack of interest and a desire to improve the present situation on the part of the nurses, the medical staff and myself.

Partner’s Perspective: Ahisaun visits Atauro

We worked in small groups to share our ideas and opinions and then presented our work to the whole group. Working together like this was a new and interesting experience for us.

Remembering 1960s Madang

We have been blessed recently to receive a number of emails and letters from returned volunteers dating back to PALMS’ earliest years. Featured here are the recollections of Colleen Keating of her time in Madang over 40 years ago.

Palms’ Jubilee Year Launched in Mittagong

As part of Palms’ Jubilee launch, returnees were invited to share their memories of their time with Palms, including what they believed was the most significant change from their experience. A few such insights are shared in this article.

Rest in Peace: John Smellie

Long after his very active engagement during the very stressful periods after the death of Roy Boylan, John Smellie still provided a great deal of guidance.

Independent review of aid effectiveness

Recently an independent committee was established by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to review Australia’s current aid program. Palms Australia was one of many non-government organisations (NGOs) to make a submission.

Staff, Interns and Volunteers

Marie Gilbert, Fiona Cairns and Enora Brunet As Palms Australia begins its jubilee year, we welcome two new staff members to our ranks. Marie Gilbert has filled the new role of Recruitment, Events and Media Officer.  Marie has twice volunteered with Palms, in Papua New Guinea and Kiribati.  Her recent studies in media and communication […]


The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world —
all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them. - Muhammad Yunus