Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Encounters: A commitment to action

Encounter Participants Timor-Leste 2012

Palms Encounter group visiting a women’s cooperative in Morobo, Timor-Leste, July 2012 I’m often asked why Palms runs Encounters to Timor-Leste and Kiribati. After all, Palms isn’t a travel company and the communities that we visit are often not well equipped to accommodate tourists. I absolutely agree with these two statements and strangely enough they […]

Mutual relationships

Encounter participants

Palms has always sought stronger, more challenging relationships with our partners, and we are proud to announce two exciting new collaborations with ACU.

Going Back to Baucau – Like Returning Home

Monica's former student Anche greets her at the airport.

Former Palms volunteer Monica Morrison recently to Baucau, Timor-Leste to see her former students receive their Masters of Education degrees.


While reading our volunteer stories in each edition of Palms Post, have you ever wanted to just fly over and see for yourself?

Upcoming events

In 2013, we have scheduled Information Sessions, Re-entry workshop, Orientation Course, Palms Encounters, a book launch and our second annual Solidarity Awards.

Encounter the frontlines of climate change

A sea wall holds back the ocean in a Palms Australia volunteer’s backyard in Bikenibeu, Tarawa, Kiribati.

This year, for the first time, Palms will bring two Encounter groups to Kiribati.

A true learning experience

Guida (right) with Frankie and Rodita

When people ask me about how my Encounter to East Timor went, I reply, “It was a true, learning experience” and it really was.
Before you start your Encounter, Palms sends you readings by people who have really walked the walk. Participants are then invited to journal their thoughts and form a plan of action that encompasses before, during and after the experience.

I found this part of the journey so beneficial.

Recounting the encounter

Ano, with Mary, an Encounter participant

Following the July Encounter, Anne Chapman, asked her students to write a short piece about the visit. These pieces demonstrate the potential of education. Anne says: “Joanito has reached this level with only four hours per week, all with Maria [one of the teachers Anne is mentoring].”

A first taste

Encounter Participants Timor-Leste 2012

I recently returned from Palms’ July Encounter to Timor-Leste. The Encounter was an amazing journey to a beautiful country with a great group of people! It was much more than a site-seeing trip.

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.

Book Now for Sept/Oct Encounter

Lawrence keeps track of his Encounter in his journal

Palms Encounter: Timor-Leste, scheduled to run from July 2nd – 14th this year, is rapidly filling up. This trip is one of two Encounters to be run in 2012, the other due to start on September 24th.

“Will you take our students on an Encounter?”

Simon Kragh on Encounter 2010

Students will encounter people living simply, but we do not pretend that, in two weeks, we can make any sustainable contribution to the development of the communities we visit. Nor do we patronisingly pretend that in two weeks we might endure what we often imagine to be the deprivations and hardships of their lives.

Partner’s Perspective: Ahisaun visits Atauro

Kristina Gunawan and members of Ahisaun Foundation swim at Atauro Island

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.

Palms Encounter: Timor-Leste

Transport is not always luxurious, but the open back of a truck can be quite liberating.

The encounter has the ability to change the way you see yourself and how you can contribute to humanity on a profound level.

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. - Kahlil Gibran