President’s Report

Opening our hands and hearts

“Opening our hands to the world is as much about being ready to receive the wisdom from the experience of others as it is about what we have to offer. As we open our hands and widen our arms we also open our hearts. We are ready to receive . . .”

The above is a section of the text in the cards which formed part of the material for Open Hands Day, a new Palms initiative aimed at both awareness and fund raising. The financial outcome this year was not all we might have hoped but the vision was enhanced and a new pathway begun. We don’t ever know what hearts may have been opened to the invitation to share in a vision for a just and peaceful world

PALMS works on many levels to open hearts so that the vision to ‘participate in and develop networks that link and engage people across cultures in order to cooperate in reducing poverty and achieve a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world’ can be enabled. One of the great attributes of this organisation that I recognise in my new role as President of the Board is the number of practical ways that this vision is implemented. The staff is few in numbers but their energy, commitment and creativity and compassion mean that obstacles are met as new doorways to live out this vision. The recent unrest in Timor-Leste brought forth an immediate response to and care of the volunteers and their repatriation, and this was followed by review of all the processes. The professional approach of the staff, Board Directors and the volunteers ensure the quality of what we offer.

The Board itself is open to the wisdom of many and receives reports from its own committees; from the people in the field; from the Global Volunteer Network as well as from the research project that is underway with the University of Wollongong. I would like to express my appreciation of the work of all these groups and the support of the Members and the various support groups that are now forming around the prospective volunteers and those in the field.

‘May you feel all the love and connection of open hands.’

Patricia Malone RSJ