Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Hugs and Handshakes

Les meeting a Mt Hagen Elder

Volunteers generally come to Palms with wide and diverse experience, before being immersed in entirely new cultures, where pre-conceptions quickly unravel. The exception to prove the rule though is Les Hartwig, who with his wife Norelle, has spent most of his life and career in Papua New Guinea. Now volunteering in Mt Hagen, he is […]

Graham’s return journey

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  Serial volunteer Graham Andrews flies back to Papua New Guinea for his latest Palms placement in the Diocese of Wewak. Having completed two placements in PNG, what does one expect in the Land of the Unexpected? Greetings from a hot and humid Wewak! Yes, hot and humid but not unbearable. If I thought I would […]

Seeds bear fruit at Christmas and beyond

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Dear John and Des I bring you good news. Some of our Eagle Wood trees both at Emmaus Farm and behind our workshops are bearings pods. This is wonderful. We were waiting for that. Next week we will collect sand again and get some beds ready for the germination when the time comes. The trees […]

Hope for Health in PNG

Peta and Dr Koka sml

Peta Snikeris, a health lecturer from Wollongong NSW has spent a year in Papua New Guinea mentoring students and staff at Divine Word University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, finding her early hopes fulfilled much more than expected. She writes-   So here I am, twelve months on from arriving at Divine Word University in Madang, […]

Emmaus Farm: a Smorgasbord of Memories

Emmaus Farm

Palms returnee volunteers invariably express that they received much more than they gave during their placements. This would certainly be true of recent returnee Des Hansen as he reminiscences over his experience at Emmaus Farm, his second Palms placement in Papua New Guinea.  Working with the students daily, and sometimes of an evening, was a […]

A volunteer for 45 years -and counting!

Pauline Randall

Read about the inspiring Pauline Randall, Palms’ longest serving serial volunteer!

Meet our 10 newest volunteers

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We have another wonderful group of volunteers, ready to depart for Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

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.

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?

Papua New Guinea Field Trip

Mark and John at Emmaus Farm with their income generating Eaglewood saplings.

A recent trip to Madang and Kiunga provided many insights into the importance of our volunteers and our approach to volunteering.

Retired volunteers: the giving of wisdom

Ben, Frank and John in Madang

You would be mistaken if you think volunteering is just a “young person’s game”. Older volunteers bring a number of qualities which can make them the most effective at contributing to their host communities.

6 common reactions to Fair Trade (in order of ascending cynicism)

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Imagine you work for a company which makes millions every year from products which cannot claim to meet these standards. How might you respond to questions posed to you about fairness and human rights?

Once more into the fray

Pedro, Monica, Mariano and Adison (front) at a graduation at CTC Baucau

Volunteering can be both a challenging and immensely rewarding experience. Few returnees would claim to remain unchanged by the experience. Some, such as Des Hansen and Monica Morrison, value the experience so much that they return for another placement.

Building houses and building capacity/Keep Palms in PNG

For security reasons, AusAID is currently unwilling to support Palms Volunteers placed in Papua New Guinea, though we remain as committed as ever to continuing our work with our partners in PNG. Our relationships and networks are too strong to abandon. Our history and knowledge of PNG are too valuable to waste.


Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless. - Sherry Anderson