Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

News in brief

Fran, a Physical Education teacher from Hobart, leading kids at Holy Family in some star jumps.

Three brief updates from Fran Hewitt in South Africa, John Gartner in Papua New Guinea and Kernah Foster in 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.

Creating a safe, sustainable environment

Domingus and Aderitu finish off the “tippy tap” handwashing station at the Community Centre.

Mim has been busy helping communities submit formal proposals for water supply and sanitation projects. This involves walking up to two hours through beautiful mountains; meeting community leaders in traditional homes; drinking coffee; and being invited to chew betelnut and talk water with village elders.

Health in Hatobuilico

Health training participants practice treating an arm wound using equipment in their new kits.

In September we had the very satisfying experience of running basic health training for local villagers. This was rewarding for us because the participants came with so much goodwill, laughter and enthusiasm.

The winners are…

Barbara Clark, Martin Teulan (Catholic Mission, Mary Gilchrist, Dr Jose Ramos Horta, Ryan Herbert (Broken Bay Catholic Schools Office), Kate Owens (Parramatta Catholic Education Office)

On October 16th, Palms Australia presented six awards in honour of the many ways Australians demonstrate global solidarity.

Past meets present to re-inspire our shared values

Palms' patrons Gary Stone and Jose Ramos Horta with Palms' president Benjamin Oh (centre)

The Inaugural Palms Solidarity Awards and Fundraising Dinner connected people around an idea we all share: the all-inclusive value of Solidarity. The words of returnee Monica Morrison and these great photographs from Terence Ho, who volunteered his professional services on the night, encapsulate the many expressions of appreciation we received.

What do we need at Christmas?

I am wondering what to get the kids for Christmas. My kids are aged 14 – 29 so you can guess that technology figures high on the list. Smart phones, computers, gaming consoles and the like seem to be the go, but how much is a reasonable spend?

How do we measure “reasonable” when it comes to our own? We would give them anything despite knowing it might be excessive. I know that without another thing they really do have the resources to realise a full life.

Help us find our next volunteers

Communities across Africa, Asia and the Pacific are asking us for volunteers in 2013.

Can you help us by sharing the following requests at work, in your industry or union journal, in your parish newsletter, or through social media?

Making Connections

Palms has long understood that realising our vision of a just, sustainable, peaceful and interdependent world would require connecting communities. This part of our mission, whether engaging parishes, schools, friendship groups, workplaces or sporting clubs can be hard work, but it is always rewarding.

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.


The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear. - Rumi