Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Directors Report: We all need liberation

Mutual Development: Because we all need liberation. by Roger O’Halloran Based in the empowering values of mutually respectful relationships every Palms Orientation Course provides an opportunity for growth. Ranging from the impressively practical, to the patently profound, presenters unpack key ideas around keeping healthy, intercultural engagement and sustainable development. However, it is the participants interacting […]

Director’s Report: Tenderness and Compassion

by Roger O’Halloran Partnership to bring “tenderness and compassion to the entire human family” Mission Month 2016 heralded the beginning of a partnership between Palms Australia and Catholic Mission, with great potential to underpin improved impacts in global mission and development.  The partnership anticipates the ongoing participation of the Australian Church in a mission that […]

The Spirit of Palms

Directors Report, Roger O’Halloran The Spirit of Palms Palms staff have been consumed over several months by the need to find and move into a new office.  It threatened to derail our annual recruitment drive, end of financial year fundraising and the planned Diamond Jubilee Luncheon.  Yet in this knowledge we decided that the Sunday […]

Have you shared your belief?

Directors Report, Roger O’alloran Have you shared your belief about Palms’ Vision and Mission? Palms simply does not have the funds to meet the demand we have for the qualified and experienced Australians we send as volunteers. The demand for Palms’ approach of skill development in a spirit of mutual assistance and solidarity is very […]

Directors Report- The Right People aRound the Table

On Monday April 13 Palms staff reflected on a need to replenish energy across the weekend that had just passed.  The reason was clear from participant’s unsolicited comments during and after the Roundtable Conference held on Friday April 10, which indicated that our small team had managed an exceptionally informative event.  It became manifest that […]

Directors Report- Exciting Potential for Our Shared Goals

Palms  has a strong relationship with many overseas dioceses and communities seeking qualified and experienced Australians willing to volunteer by sharing the knowledge and skills that will assist to sustainably reduce poverty.  Palms is unique in the Church in that it prepares, sends and supports those who volunteer to work in locally owned and managed […]

Director’s Report: Exchange of Love requires Justice

A 1977 paper by Dermot Dorgan, a former Columban Missionary, and later Education Officer at both Australian Catholic Relief (now Caritas Australia) and Mercy Works, argued that “Mission without development is mission diminished and development without openness to mission is development diminished.” Palms is unique in integrating the principles of mission and development into preparation […]

Director’s Report- Integrated Mission and Development on the menu at Solidarity Dinner

At this year’s Solidarity Awards Palms Australia patron Deacon Gary Stone will speak on loving our neighbours.  I worry sometimes that the phrase has become a little overused, hackneyed and so clichéd that people have stopped wanting to be told how we might do this.  Are we a little awkward about love? Palms encourages us […]

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?

Leading the way

Our dignity as human beings relies on all of us being both givers and receivers. Shared knowledge and skills can improve all of our lives and it is so important to achieving solidarity that we do not allow our judgements about good development, no matter how well researched, to direct the priorities of receiving communities.

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.

My ongoing re-orientation

Yes, we go out to others with vocational skills, but we must never think for a moment that this is the most important part of Palms’ Mission. We must never think that we have so much more to offer our hosts with our Western approaches, most of which are failing on so many levels. What do we know of sustainability, interdependence, solidarity?

Solidarity Struggle

I certainly had much trepidation about Palms’ Inaugural Annual Solidarity Awards and Fundraising Dinner. For a start the big name, which evolved with each new expectation we had for the dinner, became somewhat daunting. The business of Palms is usually undertaken with much less fanfare, as you might expect of an organisation encouraging all involved to live justly, love tenderly and walk humbly.

Symbiotic Fertilisation at 51

Discernment of new directions and the PVF created a symbiotic fertilisation of one another at Palms’ Organisational Review in November 2011. Now as we approach Spring we are seeing some early blooms, but more importantly most volunteer involvement with counterparts has created what we might call a bloom space in which beneficiaries can flourish for years to come.


Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural.
It is man made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. - Nelson Mandela