Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Staff, Interns and Volunteers

Marie Gilbert, Fiona Cairns and Enora Brunet

Marie Gilbert, Fiona Cairns and Enora Brunet As Palms Australia begins its jubilee year, we welcome two new staff members to our ranks. Marie Gilbert has filled the new role of Recruitment, Events and Media Officer.  Marie has twice volunteered with Palms, in Papua New Guinea and Kiribati.  Her recent studies in media and communication […]

Independent review of aid effectiveness

Recently an independent committee was established by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to review Australia’s current aid program. Palms Australia was one of many non-government organisations (NGOs) to make a submission.

Rest in Peace: John Smellie

John and Cecily Smellie

Long after his very active engagement during the very stressful periods after the death of Roy Boylan, John Smellie still provided a great deal of guidance.

Palms’ Jubilee Year Launched in Mittagong

As part of Palms’ Jubilee launch, returnees were invited to share their memories of their time with Palms, including what they believed was the most significant change from their experience. A few such insights are shared in this article.

Remembering 1960s Madang

Colleen with a student from Manam Island in 1969

We have been blessed recently to receive a number of emails and letters from returned volunteers dating back to PALMS’ earliest years. Featured here are the recollections of Colleen Keating of her time in Madang over 40 years ago.

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.

A Sustainable Ambulance Service

Roger and Carlos with Maliana's Ambulance

We are desperately lacking in equipment and the training has yet to be commenced but on the positive side there is certainly no lack of interest and a desire to improve the present situation on the part of the nurses, the medical staff and myself.

Preparing to work in another culture

Kernah Foster and Jenni Murphy

It is unfair to expect either volunteer or host to work effectively together without preparation. Palms’ Orientation Course reflects its philosophical view that cross-cultural relationship building is at the core of sustainable development outcomes.

New Positions

Angelino, David and Heath at Ahisaun Foundation

Of our 13 participants in January’s Orientation Course, 8 have confirmed placements which will begin in the coming months, with several others awaiting final placement details.

1-Year positions beginning July 2011

Palms Australia is currently seeking to fill twenty 1-year positions beginning in July 2011. Positions may be eligible for full funding, though volunteers would need to depart immediately following our July Orientation Course. We particularly encourage enquiries and applications from returned volunteers, who might be interested in giving one more year. Positions are available in […]

Working Positively with Philosophical Tensions

Nichole Georgeou’s research, undertaken on a cohort of Palms’ volunteers over three years (2006-2009), has received a commendation from one examiner and was described the thesis as ‘a path-breaking ethnographic study’ by the second. Nichole uses a framework that contrasts ‘neo-liberal technocratic’ and ‘political dynamic’ approaches to development volunteering to examine her findings. She explains […]


True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. - Martin Luther King Jr