Connecting your Australian community, whether it’s a religious, sport, leisure, social justice, or other group, with a developing community overseas is a simple, effective and sustainable way to tackle global poverty.

The CommUNITY initiative creates community partnerships by connecting Australian and overseas communities. It’s an opportunity for those who are unable to volunteer to make a sustainable contribution and create lasting friendships, without having to leave home.

A CommUNITY partnership involves providing the financial support required to place a skilled volunteer in a placement for two years. A contribution as little as $13,250 can place a volunteer for two years in some countries, who will provide an average of $150,000 worth of support to the community they’re working in.

In addition to the work that takes place in those two years, your CommUNITY partnership will continue to serve the overseas community for years to come. By exchanging skills and building capacity, Palms Australia volunteers reduce the community’s dependence on future aid.

The CommUNITY Partner provides:

  • Support for the volunteer during their placement: Working in a new culture is not easy. Often a volunteer can feel lost and alone in their new setting. Knowing that communities in Australia support what they are doing and are with them in solidarity can make these challenges easier to overcome.
  • Financial support to help recruit, prepare, send and support the volunteer: The overseas community cannot afford to cover the costs of getting a qualified volunteer to work in their community. The funds raised by CommUNITY partners help cover these costs.
  • An opportunity to achieve true sustainable development: A major part of Palms Australia volunteers’ mission is to transfer their skills to local staff. This reduces dependence and maintains the dignity and agency of the overseas community.

The CommUNITY Partner receives:

  • Regular updates on the volunteer’s progress: The support given from Australia is not forgotten. The volunteer in your partner community will send regular updates on their work, life, successes and trials. This helps your community learn about the issues facing the materially poor, life in another culture and the way development should work.
  • Food for thought: As part of the volunteer’s regular updates, their reflections will focus on a variety of topics, from personal to global issues. These may be used as an opportunity for group discussion, or simply for personal reflection.
  • The satisfaction of being part of a peaceful global mission: Palms Australia’s global mission is a peaceful alternative to the often invasive approaches taken by governments and other organisations. Working relationships are developed, the dignity of all parties is respected and a greater cross-cultural understanding is achieved. Your community can help us continue this.
  • The best value aid that money can buy: It may sound strange, but it’s true. The value of your donation is magnified through expertise donated by the volunteer. Donating as little as $10,000 to keep a volunteer in placement can help provide expertise to the value of more than $100,000.

Your CommUNITY Partnership group might:

  • Run fundraising activities such as trivia nights, movie nights, market stalls, fetes, fun-runs, concerts, raffles, or come up with your own unique ways to have fun while making a difference.
  • Invite a returned volunteer to hear first-hand about their experiences in the field.
  • Meet to discuss issues of justice, equity, conflict and peace and appropriate ways of approaching them.
  • Be made up of people from your religious group, school, university, work, family or just a group of friends who want to make a difference.

CommUNITY partnerships provide a unique opportunity for Australian communities to open their hands to the world. To view the communities currently seeking CommUNITY partners, please visit our Projects page. To register for CommUNITY or to find out more about the initiative, please complete the form on this page or call us on (02) 9560 5333.