Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Meeting East Timor’s Famous Leader

Some  Atabae team members with Xanana Gusmao.  From left, Migi, 
Dianne Woo, Xanana Gusmao, Maria and Jhon.

by Dianne Woo, with photographs by Heather Henderson Xanana Gusmao, the charismatic former Prime Minister of East Timor, is a legend in his country. When Atabae’s Community Education Team, led by Palms’ volunteer, Heather Henderson, attended the opening of the historic Balibo Fort Hotel in Bobonaro Province, they were delighted to see that he was […]

Patience and positive change in Balibo

Local students visiting Balibo CLC

Balibo Community Learning Centre (CLC) in Timor Leste is based around the Australia Flag House memorial to the Balibo Five. The Learning Centre provides several services to the local community, including computer training, mechanical workshops, English classes and mentoring of rural women’s cooperatives. Leanne Hayes from Brisbane has volunteered as Institutional Development Officer at Balibo […]

Valuable feedback

Balibo CLC Staff

“The approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.”

New faces

Brief profiles of 10 of our volunteers taking up placements in Zambia, PNG, East Timor and Kiribati.

Palms’ 94th, my first

Becc and Glenn negotiate a deal in Bafa Bafa

By the end of the course, our understanding and knowledge had risen exponentially. The bonds and commonality of participants had strengthened as well. I have no fears now about going to East Timor. I am just excited to meet all my new colleagues and friends that I will discover during my journey.


The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, the imagination and the resources of its people. - Ernesto Sirolli