Palms has offered Ahisaun the opportunity for Angelino Bona Vides (who translated the letter in the March edition of the Palms Post) to come and spend three months in Sydney working with Palms staff in our office.
On Friday February 13th, the University of Wollongong and Palms Australia hosted the “Volunteering Futures Forum” in Wollongong.
I am pleased I have come. The adventures so far have been within my ability to cope, although there have certainly been days when I have wondered how I will manage.
Preliminary discussions with Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Development Assistance, have indicated a willingness to dialogue with agencies and partners rather than dictate to them. Hopefully, this more respectful attitude will also be extended to overseas partners.
As part of his visit to St James’ Parish, Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell visited Palms Australia’s head office on Thursday 13th November 2008.
We met many people from Palms’ organisation who supported us, including Mr Michael and Mrs Cheree, who returned to Australia following security concerns in 2006. Following this we received two new volunteers, Mr Daniel and his wife Mrs Beth.
The course opened my eyes to worlds I never knew existed, even though they’re right on my doorstep. I look at people differently to what I used to, seeing someone with a past worth knowing; someone who is no doubt intelligent, articulate and very knowledgeable in the world that I live next to.
Donna Furler is volunteering as a Dental Associate for Bairo Pite Clinic, which serves Dili and surrounding regions, Timor-Leste.
Released from her fear of inadequacy, our volunteer is free to share the responsibility for the project. She not only seeks local advice, she allows local direction. She views herself as a resource for use in achieving needs they have identified, not as the primary actor aiming to achieve some outcomes developed across the ocean.
The Pauline year offers an opportunity to reflect on St Paul’s “vigorous spirituality of faith, hope and charity”, follow in his footsteps of visiting many communities and work peacefully across boundaries, whether religious or cultural, for the good of all people.
Embedded within the Palms CommUNITY initiative, Palms’ Cross-Cultural Encounter Program will offer something quite different, indeed unique, as it is about engaging not just participants, but about growth for communities on the sending and hosting end as well.
Continuing the talk of new directions (and this is not just visiting the past) Palms has approached the Rudd Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Development, Bob McMullan, about a new partnership arrangement.