Palms Australia’s Cross-Cultural Training programs can help organisations, teams and individuals in Australia work more effectively across cultures. While each training package can be tailored to the needs of the client, we also offer the following packages which can be run quickly and professionally to meet a variety of needs.

  • Bare Minimum Package
  • Culture and Development Package
  • The Professional Package
  • The Solidarity Package
  • Individual units
  • One-to-one guidance

The Bare Minimum Package

This package incorporates the minimum preparation recommended by Palms Australia’s experienced team. Focusing predominantly on cross-cultural issues with a brief discussion of development, this course ensures participants are prepared for some of the issues that can arise in cross-cultural immersion and/or partnerships.

This package ensures participants are equipped with a sensitive understanding of other cultures and how cultural differences can impact on relationships and efficacy of programs. The package is considered “the bare minimum” by our facilitators because participants will gain an understanding of development sufficient to ensure that they “at least, do no harm.”

  • Day 1
    • Introduction to culture – 90 mins
    • Cross-cultural simulation (BaFa BaFa)* – 120 mins
  • Day 2
    • Culture shock and culture jolts – 90 mins
    • Development and dilemmas of development – 120 mins

The Culture and Development Package

This package is designed to help organisations and individuals planning on volunteering in or visiting a new culture make a difference by contributing to genuinely worthwhile and sustainable development. The Culture and Development Package prepares participants for more than just a tourist-style immersion experience. Participants explore their understanding of development to gain an in-depth understanding of the goals of such programs. Case studies of different models (the good, the bad but well-intentioned and the ugly) are contrasted to provide tools to assess future partnerships and projects.

Ideally suited to people who plan to establish ongoing cross-cultural programs, enter into a truly mutual partnership or pass on skills to others.

  • Day 1
    • Interpersonal health (DISC method) – 90 mins
    • Introduction to culture – 90 mins
    • Cross-cultural simulation (BaFa BaFa)* – 120 mins
  • Day 2
    • Culture shock and culture jolts – 90 mins
    • Development – 90 mins
    • Dilemmas of development – 90 mins

The Professional Package

This package is recommended for people travelling to another country on a medium-long term project. Participants will better understand what is meant by culture, how culture can affect their own as well as others’ decisions, and potential cross-cultural issues and dilemmas and the strategies to work through them. The highlight of the course is the cross-cultural field trip, which gives participants a first-hand experience of being the “other”. The package involves an in-depth discussion of development work and its dilemmas, which allows participants to consider more fully the impact they have on others and the associated ethical implications.

Ideally suited to people working in development agencies, government sectors or global organisations who plan to establish ongoing cross-cultural programs or enter into mutually beneficial overseas partnerships.

  • Day 1
    • Interpersonal health (DISC method) – 90 mins
    • Introduction to culture – 90 mins
    • Cross-cultural simulation (BaFa BaFa)* – 120 mins
  • Day 2
    • Cross-cultural Field trip** – 4 hours
    • Field trip debrief** – 60 mins
  • Day 3
    • Culture shock and culture jolts – 90 mins
    • Development – 90 mins
    • Dilemmas of development – 90 mins

The Solidarity Package

This package is recommended for businesses, schools, religious groups, community groups and other organisations interested in supporting development work from home.

The first session offers a discussion of what is meant by sustainable development and which types of development are worth supporting. Participants will work together to assess existing projects, building an understanding of what the purpose of development should be. The second session introduces the group to Palms Australia’s Community Connections, a ready-made method for connecting communities in Australia and communities overseas. Various volunteer placements will be discussed, along with practical ways of building community in Australia in order to support a linked community overseas.

  • Development and dilemmas of development – 120 mins
  • Building Community Connections – 90 mins

Individual units

Palms Australia offers individual units as requested, catered to the existing skills and expertise within your organisation. A selection of the units currently available are listed below. All units are two hours long unless otherwise indicated.

  • My Story, our story, the story
  • Solidarity and development
  • Healthy and safe in place
  • Working with people in stress and trauma
  • Interpersonal Health: DISC
  • Interpersonal wisdom: Enneagram (2-3 days)*
  • Journaling as a tool of survival and personal development
  • Cross-cultural simulation: BaFa BaFa*
  • Introduction to culture
  • Culture jolts and culture shocks
  • Countering culture – When should you challenge the status quo?
  • Cross-cultural field trip and debrief (full day)
  • Approaches to development
  • Dilemmas of development
  • Development simulation: Island*
  • Development simulation: Pineapple Republic*
  • Dealing with gender
  • Many sides to a story: Communicating a complex message
  • Building Community Connections

One-to-one guidance

Palms Australia also provides one to one guidance from our qualified and enormously experienced counsellors for assisting individual development professionals with surviving their placement and achieving their goals. An individual support program can be developed to provide mentoring from program design through to implementation and evaluation.


* Simulations such as BaFa BaFa, Island and Pineapple Republic require a minimum of 14 participants. If you have a smaller group, we may be able to organise some extra participants for this session to make up the numbers.

**Due to its nature, the cross-cultural field trip is available only in Sydney and surrounds. It may also be able to be run in Melbourne on request.