Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

The First 6 Months

OHM Training Workshop

Mark Broster, from western Sydney and well travelled, is the latest Palms volunteer working with Fundasaun Haburas Moris in Maliana, Timor Leste. Now with official NGO status, Haburas Moris is highly regarded locally as it continues to strengthen capacity and “develop life” for the rural communities of Bobonaro. Mark writes- It’s now been 6 months […]

Meeting East Timor’s Famous Leader

Some  Atabae team members with Xanana Gusmao.  From left, Migi, 
Dianne Woo, Xanana Gusmao, Maria and Jhon.

by Dianne Woo, with photographs by Heather Henderson Xanana Gusmao, the charismatic former Prime Minister of East Timor, is a legend in his country. When Atabae’s Community Education Team, led by Palms’ volunteer, Heather Henderson, attended the opening of the historic Balibo Fort Hotel in Bobonaro Province, they were delighted to see that he was […]

Atabae – Ate logo i obrigadu barack

singing

Atabae – Ate logo i obrigadu barack los husi hau nia laran  (Atabae –See you later and I truly thank you from my heart.) by Heather Henderson As I sit to write, I hear the melodious, harmonised voices of a group of young girls walking past my house on their way to somewhere. “Ba ne’be?” […]

Patience and positive change in Balibo

Local students visiting Balibo CLC

Balibo Community Learning Centre (CLC) in Timor Leste is based around the Australia Flag House memorial to the Balibo Five. The Learning Centre provides several services to the local community, including computer training, mechanical workshops, English classes and mentoring of rural women’s cooperatives. Leanne Hayes from Brisbane has volunteered as Institutional Development Officer at Balibo […]

Hello from Africa No.8

Rhinos resized

It can be an uncomfortable chore for the Palms staff to request stories from our Volunteers in the Field for the Palms Post. This is never the case with volunteer Louisa Cataldo, who has provided a constant stream of stories from her placement. Here is her latest Update (No. 8!) from Holy Family Care Centre, […]

Louisa’s Update No. 7

Louisa and FGriends washing Zoe

Louisa Cataldo provides another update from the teaching side of Holy Family Care Centre, South Africa: Life as a volunteer is filled with rewards and equally with some disappointments. And while one certainly does not go looking for the rewards, it is always such a pleasure when they come unexpectedly. And so it happened that […]

Back to reality… Children’s health in South Africa

House

Volunteer Carmel Lawry recently returned to her placement in Holy Family Care Centre, South Africa, after a brief “break” of study, work and exams in Australia to enhance her health qualifications. She provides another update of life for the community -and the young- of Ofcolaco: I have been back in Ofcolaco for 2 weeks and […]

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 […]

An Outer Island Experience- Marakei, Kiribati by Marlene Rasmussen

the Seawall

Wednesday 27th August dawned as a normal day, off to work for a  busy day in the office.   At a minute’s notice I caught the flight to Marakei. Sue needed my car to collect her paint; she collected the paint and dropped me off at the airport. A truck was waiting to pick me […]

Soccer in Atabae

Ian with Atabaqe Youth Soccer

With the recent Soccer World Cup we have seen again much debate on the relationship between sport, commercialism and mass media. Many of us would like to get back to basics and just enjoy play for its own sake! Ian Gray, at IT professional recently returned from Atabae, Timor Leste, gives his report of such […]

Realising the Dream in Atabae, Timor Leste

Following independence the people of Timor Leste quickly recognised that growth in education was key to the development of their communities and nation. Almost without exception, Timorese students express an insistent determination to learn and improve their English skills as an avenue to further education and employment. Heather Henderson, a teacher from Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, […]

Rebuilding families and hopes in Ofcolaco, South Africa

Holy Family Centre in Ofcolaco, Limpopo Privince, South Africa is hosting two Palms Volunteers -Carmel Lawry, an experienced health care professional from Melbourne, and Louisa Cataldo, a passionate  teacher and musician from Sydney. Working on different ‘front lines’ both women are helping to rebuild life and hope in a region devastated by poverty, abuse, civil […]

From Buka to Maliana

Kevin with Anaflora and Marcelino

Kevin Wilson, previously volunteered with Palms in Tunaniya, Bougainville. He has now joined the team at OHM which supports people in the Bobonaro District of Timor-Leste.

Volunteers speak from Timor-Leste

Video: Volunteers speak from Timor-Leste

In our latest Youtube video, three Palms volunteers speak about why volunteering is important and why people should volunteer with Palms Australia.


The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, the imagination and the resources of its people. - Ernesto Sirolli