It is an interesting time at Palms at the moment, with new staff to welcome and departing staff to farewell.
At the end of January we farewelled Eric Wang, our accountant of over three years, who is returning to China after several years in Australia. Eric has provided great service to Palms, managing the sometimes complex finances of both Palms Australia and The Fair Trade Coffee Company. He also provided a great insight into his culture and we all enjoyed discussing different perspectives on a given issue. We wish Eric and his wife Teresa all the best with their lives in China.
In February, Benjamin Oh departed his position as Community Education Officer to concentrate on his postgraduate studies. Ben brought a contagious enthusiasm for justice and peace to the office and was a willing learner and contributor, even when the tasks at hand could be quite mundane. Ben’s rapport with applicants and partners was a real asset and many volunteers commented on his warm manner. Ben will be completing his Masters in Letters and is considering further options. We are sure his presence at Sydney Uni’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies means we’ll see him often enough at our Fair Trade Café.
We also farewelled Daniel Gilfillan who has been with us since mid-2009. It has been an eventful year for Daniel, returning from Timor-Leste, getting married and working on Palms programs. His recent experience in Timor has been a real asset, particularly when Palms hosted Angelino as part of our Reverse Immersion program, but also in discussing projects with numerous partners. Unsurprisingly, for any returnee at least, Dan and Beth still feel a strong connection to Timor and plan to return, continuing the collaboration with their Timorese friends for a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world. We look forward to hearing more from them on their work and, of course, on field trips.
Of course, life does appear to be cyclical, so it is with great joy that we welcome Li Li, our new accountant. Li Li is also from China, with experience in many corners of the world, and has contributed much to our office as a volunteer over recent months. She is now a full time member of our staff and is already fitting in very well. Welcome Li Li!
Finally we can note that Palms is currently interested in employing a new staff member in the role of Administrative Assistant. Individuals with strong organisational and communication skills, who are committed to Palms’ vision of a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world, should contact Roger O’Halloran for a position outline.