Our Volunteers: Greg Bourne volunteering in Timor-Leste

Catholic Teachers’ College, Timor-Leste

Catholic Teacher’s College in Baucau, East Timor provides training to secondary and primary teachers for schools throughout the nation of East Timor.

As the country tries to move forward, following the violence of the Indonesian occupation and after the successful vote for independence, education is vital to provide opportunities to all. Increased opportunity provides increased hope for a peaceful future.”

Greg Bourne

Greg BourneCatholic Teacher’s College placed a request with Palms Australia for a teacher to develop skills of local teachers in science teaching methods.

Palms recruited Greg Bourne, an ex-principal and experienced science teacher for the position.

Greg’s expertise and experience make him ideal for the job.”

New placements for 2007

March 23, 2007

… and some recent returnees

Listed below are five of the confirmed placements for the coming year. We are seeking CommUnity Partners for these and several others which are currently being finalised. Why not choose a placement and host your own fundraising event? We can help, just contact Palms on (02) 9642 0558 or online

Tunaniya Open Learning Centre
Bougainville, PNG
2 years

Tunaniya Open Learning Centre is a new education project run by Sam and Josephine Kauona aimed at encouraging a culture of life-long learning in Bougainville. The centre will offer a variety of short courses for local people in areas such as literacy, health, computing, trades and project management. They requested a skilled administrator and educator from Palms to assist in making this worthwhile project viable.

Solomon Havini, an administration officer from TNQ-TAFE, will work with Sam and Josie to develop programs and administration processes and train participants in IT.
Fundraising target $13,250

Logistics Manager & Field Physiotherapist
Callan National Unit (CNU)
Wewak, PNG
2 years

The Logistics Manager is a new position aimed to assist the Special Education Resource Centre (SERC) in Wewak to strengthen its operational capacity at the time of development and growth. While the job description involves some hands-on management, the over-riding logistic is empowering and enskilling current national employees and employing and training additional national staff as required.

The CNU Field Physiotherapist is needed to make physiotherapy accessible to the area beyond the main town, particularly in rural situations. While hands-on services are important and helpful for rural clients, who have little in terms of quality services, the more significant activity and duty will be the passing on of knowledge and skills in Community Based Rehabilitation at the family, community and rural institutional level so that access and availability to services are maximised.

Gary and Helen Wolhuter will spend two years with Callan National Unit developing skills of staff and local communities in administration and physiotherapy.
Fundraising target $13,250 each

Special Education Teacher & English Teacher
St Joseph’s College
Tabwiroa, Abaiang, Kiribati
1 year

A recent study into education in Kiribati, commissioned by Palms and carried out by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, identified a lack of confidence in English amongst teachers and students as a major reason for poor results and low numbers of tertiary entrants in Kiribati. The students of St Joseph’s college are disadvantaged even by Kiribati standards by their remote location.

By teaching English to the students and mentoring the teachers of Tabwiroa, Maryke and Bernard Dobe will contribute to increased opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged students of the Pacific.
Fundraising target $8,927 each


As we prepare to send more volunteers this year, we must also acknowledge the good work of those who returned in 2006

Solomon Islands – Patrick Campbell and Hila Sukkar
East Timor – Greg Bourne, Cheree and Michael Flanagan
Kiribati – Jenni Murphy, Sandra Power
Tanzania – Davina Wiltshire, Helena Charlesworth
Papua New Guinea – Frances Scurfield
Uganda – Monica O’Kane
Swaziland – Phillip and Elaine Dicalfas-Hall

Thank you for your commitment to your communities and Palms’ mission.
We hope that you are able to remain involved in our work

Greg Bourne’s CommUNITY News no. 1

October 12, 2006

During October and November I will continue running Science Teachers’ Workshops in the districts of Baucau, Los Palos and Viqueque. We are trying to develop a science fair concept to take to schools and villages. We will try it once or twice and see what happens.

Click here to read the full article

Donate Online

Donating online offers you a completely secure and easy way to support our work.

Greg Bourne's placement has completed, but you can still help us provide volunteers to many other communities by using the form below.

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As Greg Bourne's volunteer placement has ended, your donation will be placed towards the costs of sending and supporting other Palms volunteers to exchange skills with our partner communities. For more information contact Palms Australia.

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You can download and print a donation form and return it to us by post/fax with your cheque, money order or credit card details.

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Or call us on (02) 9560 5333 to make a donation by phone. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR WORK!


Population: 1,292,755

Area: 15,007 sq. km.

Median Age: 21.5

Literacy: 58.6 %

Languages: Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian, about 16 indigenous languages

A brief history of independence. mid 1500s – Timor colonised by Portugal 1859 – Portugal cedes West Timor to the Dutch 1942-1945 – Japan occupies East Timor 28 November 1975 – East Timor declared independent from Portugal 7 December 1975 – invaded and occupied by Indonesia. It is estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 were killed […]

More on Timor-Leste

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. - Emile Chartier