Divine Word University (DWU), Papua New Guineaa
The university made a request to Palms Australia to provide a highly experienced legal practitioner to be a Legal Advisor to the university. The Legal Advisor will help implement a new comprehensive set of policy that will manage the university’s academic, financial and administrative areas. A team of staff will also be trained within the legal framework as to understand the duties, responsibilities and implications of the new set of policies.
DWU also placed a request for a Personnel Manager to be responsible for the training of national staff in the implementation of the university’s personnel policies, practices and procedures. Both of these positions will contribute immensely to the strengthening of the university’s capabilities in building effective global partnership, improving a greater standard of education, best practice governance and gender equality.
Peter and Elaine Smyth
Palms Australia recruited Peter and Elaine Smyth from Canberra to fill the above positions, providing guidance and training to local staff at DWU.
Peter is an experienced Solicitor, Legal Practice Manager and Lecturer. He has experience in most fields and levels of law and has twice previously worked in Papua New Guinea, in Law and Education. Elaine has a diverse range of experience in administration and management. She has worked in both private and public sectors, including eight years in the department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Peter and Elaine are active members of their community with involvement in their local church, school and sporting clubs. Peter’s sister Rosaleen is currently volunteering with Palms in Tanzania and their parents, Jim and Kath, were Palms’ volunteers in PNG in the 1970s.
May 22, 2012
A recent trip to Madang and Kiunga provided many insights into the importance of our volunteers and our approach to volunteering.
At the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Paul Tan, Esther Sim and John Gartner are sharing their skills in human resources, finance and project
management, respectively, to build the programs and the capacity of local staff. The nearby Ok Tedi mine and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects assist a small handful of people, while inflating local prices beyond the reach of others, but the programs of the Diocese reach into the community and address the education, health, economic, social and spiritual needs of the people.
- Ongoing partnerships between Palms Australia and our partners allow volunteers to build on the work of each other.
- Clustering volunteers, particularly where their skills complement each other, can increase their effectiveness, not just their security.
- Volunteers must bring useful professional skills, requested by the host community, but also a willingness to be flexible, open to their own learning and cooperative.
- Volunteers who engage in the community fully are more able to build relationships which both make them more effective in their work and increase their safety in their new environment.
- Our partner organisations, who bring years of experience on the ground, are very capable of caring for volunteers and driving their own development.
- By the end of the first year, the volunteer is ready to be truly useful to their host community.
As we have long said, relationships are central to our approach to volunteering – not just for their own sake, though they are intrinsically valuable, but also because they enable all other aspects of our mission.
March 11, 2012
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.
March 4, 2011
We have been blessed recently to receive a number of emails and letters from returned volunteers dating back to PALMS’ earliest years. Featured here are the recollections of Colleen Keating of her time in Madang over 40 years ago.
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Papua New Guinea
Area: 462,840 sq. km.
Median Age: 21.5
Literacy: 57.3 %
Languages: Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin), English, Motu, c.820 indigenous languages
The terrain of Papua New Guinea varies from its rugged mountainous spine to its beautiful beaches to its volcanic islands to one of the world’s largest swamps and the large river systems of the Sepik and Fly rivers. These geographical differences have created a unique country with many diverse cultures. The ties within a family […]