Community organisations seeking sustainable solutions to poverty.

Palms Australia believes that all people are the agents of their own development. Consequently, we can contribute to the development of others only when invited to do so. We view our partnerships with local communities as part of an ongoing and dynamic process of interaction, dialogue and negotiation within a work environment.

What support can Palms Australia provide?

Palms Australia supports development by preparing qualified, experienced professionals to build the capacity of individuals and institutions within a community. With the main objective being the exchange of skills and knowledge with members of the community, Palms Australia participants work side by side with local people to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for the community to become self-reliant. All communities served by Palms Australia seek a future without dependence on foreign aid and handouts.

Our team can recruit professionals from any industry. We have received requests for teachers, doctors, finance administrators, nurses, hospitality trainers, electricians, carpenters, agriculture specialists, management advisors and more. This professional will work alongside a local counterpart for one to three years to facilitate genuine, culturally responsive skill development.

We will not place Australians where local skills and expertise is available; neither do we fly in, do the job, and fly out again.

How does Palms Australia recruit and prepare volunteers?

Palms volunteers are prepared for interdependant community development.  Many members and volunteers are motivated in this work by Christian values, however with open hands we work with people of good will from all faith backgrounds and know that “the many people who profess no religion will also contribute to providing the social question with the necessary ethical foundation.”

The selection process encourages significant self-examination.  A candidate is selected for his/her capacity (skills and personal experience) to match a request from a receiving community. Each completes a reflective questionnaire and at least two interviews that thoroughly investigate relevant issues.

Cross-cultural skills are developed for individuals through a correspondence program while the   mutual growth of volunteers is inspired through focus workshops and a nine-day pre-departure   orientation course held twice a year.  Development of relevant language skills is encourage       before departure and throughout a volunteer’s placement.

How do I request assistance from Palms Australia?

  1. Complete the Palms Australia Volunteer Request Form linked below.
  2. Palms Australia will provide a model Memorandum of Understanding or partnership document, which notes each organisation’s commitment and responsibilities to the relationship.
  3. A request for a Palms Australia volunteer to live and work in your community will be formalised in a Position Description, Conditions of Service & Counterpart/Trainee profile forms.  Palms Australia generally cover the costs of the recruitment, preparation, sending and insurance of volunteers while the requesting community provide accommodation, a small living allowance and the return airfare.
  4. If a requesting community cannot provide a living allowance or the return airfare, the assistance of an Australian community can be sought.  This may provide a valuable link between the home community of the volunteer and the receiving community.  However, placements may take longer to finalise while necessary arrangements are made.

For more information about how Palms Australia can support your community organisation, or for assistance in completing the Volunteer Request Form, contact Christine O’Halloran at christine@palms.org.au.

Request a volunteer >

If you are unable to access the form via the link above, you can download the Volunteer Request Form (MS Word) and return it to christine@palms.org.au.