Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development


Nichole Graduation

Dr Nichole Georgeou recently received her doctorate following the completion of her research at the University of Wollongong, in partnership with Palms Australia.

Journalism in a newly independent nation

Looking to the future... Barry Morris with PNG Information Minister Reuben Taureka outside Trinity Press in Rabaul, 1976.

More than 30 years ago I gave up my job with top-rating radio station 2SM to run a newspaper in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

The Roadshow rolls on!

Donna Furler spoke in Orange of her experiences as a volunteer dental hygienist in Timor-Leste.

After 50 years of humble service, Palms finally decided it was time to blow our own trumpet. Usually, we get access to a parish here or a school there at the discretion of the local priest or principal and the patience of people who sometimes, understandably, feel fatigued.

Adeus Ahisaun

Angelino in Ahisaun’s new garden

Tapping into the talents and capacities of the young people not only shows what people with a disability can do, it also increases each member’s sense of pride in community and personal contributions.

Variety in volunteering

As a small nimble organisation, Palms is able to respond to different circumstances in a way that many larger NGOs may not. In recent years, we have been nothing if not innovative, with Encounters, Reverse Immersions, Fair Trade and three-way partnerships providing examples of innovative ways to complement our core work.

Field Trips: Developing Relationships

Elly Armagos and Andy Moulton have recently completed placements with Youth Aid Uganda in Kampala.

Seeing the assignment locations and meeting the partners firsthand allows Palms’ staff to make some difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising one placement over another when faced with limited numbers of volunteers or limited funds required to send them.

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.

Mission accomplished?

While it came with conditions – 1-year maximum placements, enhanced security procedures- and no guarantee of further funding, finally we could concentrate on recruiting volunteers without stressing as much about funds …for now …sort of.

Kevin Rudd visits Maliana

Roger Bowen, far left with other Australians in Maliana and Kevin Rudd

On the weekend I was fortunate enough to meet Jose Ramos Horta [Timor-Leste’s President] and Kevin Rudd and the Australian ambassador, Miles Armitage.

Upcoming Events: Get involved

Directors Roger O’Halloran and Michael Douglas at Palms’ Organisational Review in 2009.

Our call for people to renew or begin their membership was the first step in trying to get active members, who participate in setting Palms’ Strategic Direction which influences all that we do.

This year offers great opportunities for participation and we hope you can take part in two more major events this year (non-members are also most welcome).

AusAID: Despite the work, we’d do it again

The individual’s own behaviour is often most significant in ensuring their safety.

Many who know of Palms’ already wide-ranging risk management documentation and the comprehensive preparation of volunteers might ask, as I did, what could possibly be added?

Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. - Unknown