Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Rest in Peace Br Damian Keane OH 1928 – 2009

Damian Keane

Recently Palms received the sad news that Br Damian Keane, who for 10 years had volunteered in our office, passed away on Saturday October 10th at Concord Hospital. Damian turned 81 the previous week.

Volunteers need not be damaging

Unsustainable Development

The MDGs are important because they represent an international agreement on some important and necessary goals. Such agreement, however, does not remove the significance of cultural interpretation. In a given context, there are potentially many different means to these ends.

Local community engagement (new placements)

The Hale family are heading to Samoa

Palms’ mission clearly states that a volunteer placement is not solely about the volunteer exchanging skills with a global community. Volunteering also provides great opportunities “to engage Australian communities and partner communities through Global Volunteers so that each increases their awareness and enthusiasm to encourage just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful development.”

Letter from Timor-Leste

Chrys and Assis on guitar

Monica Morrison, from Mollymook NSW, is volunteering to provide Professional Development support at Catholic Teachers’ College, Baucau, Timor-Leste.

Community Development in Uganda (new placements)

Women affected by HIV/AIDS learn dressmaking skills at KIFAD

There are times when you are truly inspired by the commitment of people to their project and the potential the project has to make a difference. On a recent scoping visit to Ethiopia and Uganda, I was struck by this sense many times.

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality; MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health

Agusto, one of the chidren benefitting from Atabae's program

“We all know ‘Breast is Best’. But each case is individual and should be treated as needs require at the time. I believe, the photo shows the reality of our undernourished mothers and the environment they have to survive in.”

Continuing a Longitudinal relationship with Ahisaun (new placements)

Lukas and Kristina

Beyond the volunteer, Palms as an organisation believes very strongly in maintaining strong and healthy relationships with our partners, those communities and organisations who host Palms volunteers. Just one of these many “organisational” relationships has been the one with the Ahisaun Disabilities Foundation, in Dili, East Timor.

Angelino’s story

Angelino presents at a disability conference in Melbourne

Angelino is Palms’ latest Reverse Immersion participant. Here he explains what that involves and how it will benefit him and Ahisaun Foundation where he works in Timor-Leste.

The volunteer bug (new placements)

Peter and Elaine Smyth

Peter and Elaine Smyth In 2010, Palms Australia will place Peter and Elaine Smyth at Divine Word University in Madang, PNG. They will work as a Legal Advisor and Personnel Manager respectively, training local staff to implement new legal, administrative and personnel policies. Their work will increase DWU’s capacity in building effective global partnership, improving […]

Give a Volunteer this Christmas and be ready to receive.

Kevin Wilson in Tunaniya, Bougainville

If Palms were an employment agency in Australia the organisations seeking employees with specific skills would be our clients and pay good money for the service. However, this is not simply a market driven relationship between client and service-provider.

Christmas: Giving and Receiving New Life

Do you want to give new life this Christmas? After 10 years as Executive Director it dawns on me that what Palms does in the lead up to Christmas each year is very apt. It is a time in which we start earnestly preparing volunteers for a new life and we prepare requesting communities for receiving new life.


Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless. - Sherry Anderson