Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

96th Orientation Revisited

Palms 96th Orientation

Participants at our 96th Orientation have much to thank Palms intern Liesje Barratt for: Not only did she organise much of the event -in front and behind the scenes- but also introduced us to the game of  Kupps! Here Leisje gives her account of a most enjoyable and inspirational week- From January 9th -17th Palms Australia held […]

95th Orientation Course brings out the best

Bruce Farquharson contributes some of his expertise

It was a small group at our September course, but the concentration of talent, commitment and passion was palpable at our 95th Orientation Course.

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.

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.

My ongoing re-orientation

Yes, we go out to others with vocational skills, but we must never think for a moment that this is the most important part of Palms’ Mission. We must never think that we have so much more to offer our hosts with our Western approaches, most of which are failing on so many levels. What do we know of sustainability, interdependence, solidarity?

Places available in Palms’ 94th Orientation

Simulation activities provide a great way to explore complex issues

Palms Australia’s 94th cross-cultural Orientation Course is open for bookings from individuals and organisations seeking to enhance their global competency.

Orientation Course #92

Simulation exercises provide a deep insight into the challenges of working cross-culturally for development, and some useful tools. Pictured: Lawrence Chan, Fulvio Fabreschi, Ian Gray and Margaret Fogarty engage in nuanced trade negotiations.

There is something very rewarding about watching such a group interact, sharing their own expertise while working through Palms’ cross-cultural program, refined over 50 years.

Breaking bread and sowing new seed

Victorian returnees share lunch in Melbourne

Stories shared at the Jubilee Launch at the January Orientation Course also assisted staff to re-value how a Palms placement helps us all to grow. Sitting, observing and listening on these occasions gives pause again to appreciate how the giver reaps rewards.

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.

Eight more volunteer profiles online

Participants at Palms' 91st Orientation Course, January 2011

Eight new volunteer placements have been placed on Palms’ website, including six for Timor-Leste, one for Tanzania and one for Kiribati.

Palms launches Jubilee Year at 91st Orientation Course

Participants at Palms' 91st Orientation Course, January 2011

Palms Australia launched its Golden Jubilee Year, celebrating 50 years of volunteers at its recent Orientation Course in Mittagong, NSW.

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

Two EAs and a coordinator in a part of Hebron inhabited by settlers. Palestinians are banned from this road.

The EAPPI seeks to support local and international efforts to end the Israeli occupation and bring a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just peace, based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.

Orientation Course

Carol and Corrie

“Great course, Variety of activities that pushed us out of comfort zone- a real authentic course- not just theoretical knowledge…. it was great to have people participating from a variety of backgrounds- it enriched the whole group.”

Palms Australia’s 89th Orientation Course

Course Participants

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.


As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills. - Pope Francis (Joy of the Gospel 202)