“I found it [Re-entry] useful in that it allowed me to see the similarities and differences my stories held in comparison with the others. It gave me a platform in which to share my stories with willing listeners, non-judgement and respect.”

An often neglected part of long-term cross-cultural work is the return home. Just as entering a new country and culture can present many difficulties and challenges, returning home or “re-entry” can often be shocking, disappointing or disheartening. “Home” may not be as a returnee remembers, or may be, disappointingly, exactly as remembered. The complexity and pace of Australian life can be confronting, confusing and frustrating. The apparent inequities and injustices can be infuriating.

Friends, family and colleagues are often baffled by a returnee’s inability to just slot back in. Often returning home will not mean returning to an old life. New experiences will have helped the traveller develop, and they may be looking at a new direction.

As an organisation that has been delivering cross-cultural training since 1961, Palms Australia is aware of the difficulties of returning home and offers to all its returned volunteers a re-entry program to help ease the trip back home. Our re-entry workshops offer a chance to share stories, explore new understandings of development, debrief on global and local issues and better understand the new role a returnee can have at home. Whether you’ve returned home six days ago or six years ago, the benefits of a well-run re-entry program are undeniable.

Palms Australia welcomes volunteers and workers from other organisations to attend our re-entry workshops, and can run exclusive, tailored workshops on request.

Our next re-entry workshop will be held from 27-29 April, 2018. If you are interested in participating or would like to organise one for your workplace or community group, please complete the form on this page or contact Palms Australia at palms@palms.org.au or on (02) 9560 5333.