Every year, Palms Australia’s Solidarity Awards are held each year to recognise the individuals and organisations that share Palms’ mission to achieve a world free of poverty.
Our major award, the Roy Boylan Award, recognises an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to justice and peace at home and abroad. This year, the Roy Boylan Award recognised the contributions of Sr Eileen Kennedy, OLSH.
Former Palms volunteer Anne Chapman, from Melbourne, was awarded the Br. Damien Keane Award. Anne volunteered as an educator with Palms Australia in Atabae, Timor Leste, and has returned to the community as a guide with Palms’ Encounter Tours. These tours are an opportunity for those in our Australian community who are not able to volunteer long-term to witness the sustainable local initiatives being implemented by our program partners.
Fellow Melbournian Del Durrant was awarded the Community Engagement Award for her efforts in connecting students in Melbourne with issues in international aid and development. Del volunteered with Palms Australia in Papua New Guinea and Kiribati and has visited Palms’ project partners in Samoa. She has been instrumental in engaging students in Australia and abroad with educational opportunities that improve both students and their communities.
The Catholic Education Office of Wollongong was awarded the Sustainable Relationships Awards. The award recognises organisations and institutions that facilitate Palms’ approach to solidarity where the mutual development of individuals and organisations is achieved through long-term relationships. The CEO Wollongong has cultivated a partnership with the Catholic Education Office of Kiribati over the past 10-15 years that has facilitated cultural and knowledge exchange between teachers in both countries and created valuable learning experiences for I-Kiribati and Australian students. Receiving the award on behalf of the CEO was Head of Service Ken Bryant. Ken said “I always find the commitment and extraordinary generosity of all connected with Palms (staff and volunteers) so inspiring”.
Sarah and Damien Beale, former volunteers who are now living in Perth, were awarded the Cyrill Hally Award in recognition of their assistance in the recruitment of Australians for Palms’ projects. Palms supporter Catherine McGrath received the Donor Contribution Award for her significant contribution to Palms volunteer program.
Guests were treated to an inspirational address by Sr Pat Fox, who shared stories from her years working in the Philippines and her efforts advocating for human rights, which caught the attention of the government and ultimately led to her deportation from the country in 2018.
Next year, the Solidarity Awards will be held in conjunction with Palms’ Annual General Meeting as we launch celebrations for the 60th year of our international development program, 2021.