Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Branding insecurity

Are we becoming more obsessed with labels? Is the call to label a program or value as Catholic a bit like AusAID’s strange notion that a brand is better than a conversation to identify “Australian” volunteers? Do we derive a sense of strength from labelling?

100 reasons to sign our petition

On June 5th, we tweeted 100 reasons to sign our petition to Bob Carr, which as it turns out are also 100 reasons AusAID should reinstate the volunteer fund.

Sign our petition. “AusAID: Keep funding Palms volunteers!”

Palms Australia has launched a petition to Senator Bob Carr, calling on him to re-instate AusAID’s volunteer fund.

A letter to Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Dear Mr Carr,

Below is an extract of a letter I received from Margaret McKinnon, AusAID’s First Assistant Director General Africa and Community Programs Division. In it she announces a decision to discontinue the Pilot Volunteer Fund (PVF) without cogent explanation.

New Beginnings

In this issue of Palms Post we celebrate some new beginnings. We have the joy of working again with people experienced in implementing Palms mission. We also need to consider how Palms will continue to encourage new beginnings in future.

News in brief

Fran, a Physical Education teacher from Hobart, leading kids at Holy Family in some star jumps.

Three brief updates from Fran Hewitt in South Africa, John Gartner in Papua New Guinea and Kernah Foster in Kiribati.

Creating a safe, sustainable environment

Domingus and Aderitu finish off the “tippy tap” handwashing station at the Community Centre.

Mim has been busy helping communities submit formal proposals for water supply and sanitation projects. This involves walking up to two hours through beautiful mountains; meeting community leaders in traditional homes; drinking coffee; and being invited to chew betelnut and talk water with village elders.

Health in Hatobuilico

Health training participants practice treating an arm wound using equipment in their new kits.

In September we had the very satisfying experience of running basic health training for local villagers. This was rewarding for us because the participants came with so much goodwill, laughter and enthusiasm.

Making Connections

Palms has long understood that realising our vision of a just, sustainable, peaceful and interdependent world would require connecting communities. This part of our mission, whether engaging parishes, schools, friendship groups, workplaces or sporting clubs can be hard work, but it is always rewarding.

Two minute videos capture the benefits of volunteering

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Palms is proud to release five new videos outlining a number of different perspectives on global volunteering. These brief videos allow you to hear how volunteers, Timorese partners and donors view Palms volunteers, and how they contribute to global justice.

Volunteers speak from Timor-Leste

Video: Volunteers speak from Timor-Leste

In our latest Youtube video, three Palms volunteers speak about why volunteering is important and why people should volunteer with Palms Australia.

Supporting African Initiative

Fulvio and Wogeni fix a cabinet at Holy Family Care Centre, Bushulo, Ethiopia

Each field visit provides the great privilege of meeting our partners and being reminded that our volunteers are only a tiny part of a long-term development story which is driven by Africans. It is a terrific reminder of what Palms Australia is all about – supporting local initiative.

A Grassroots Approach to Development

Palms staff Barry Hinton (left) and Christine (centre-right) with volunteer John Chang (centre-left), Fr Angelo (third from left), Sr Angelita (third from right) and other staff from Dili Diocese.

Palms Australia continues to receive requests for volunteers from grass roots communities and organisations to assist build capacities across the health, education and agricultural sectors.

Volunteer Impacts Infographic

Click on the image above to see the full size infographic

This infographic provides an interesting insight into what a single volunteer can contribute to their hosts over 12 months.


Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. - Arundhati Roy