Love, Peace and Solidarity: Palms’ 3rd Annual Awards

Love, Peace and Solidarity: Palms’ 3rd Annual Awards

Attendees at Palms’ 3rd Annual Solidarity awards will remember Corinne Desira who along with her fellow Palms interns Madeleine Whitby, Catherine Mitchell and Liesje Barratt, greeted guests and worked with tireless enthusiasm throughout the evening. Here Corrine gives her report of a most inspiring and thought-provoking  event, Palms Australia’s 3rd Annual Solidarity Awards, held at ACU Strathfield.

The 3rd Annual Palms Australia Solidarity Awards kicked off with a wonderful and uplifting performance by the Solidarity choir, which set the tone perfectly for what proved to be a great celebration of the positive work and contributions of the many affiliates of Palms Australia.

This year, guests were invited and challenged to consider various ways of integrating mission and development for transformation at home and abroad. Our first guest speaker Deacon Gary Stone spoke of engaging cross-culturally in a respectful and passionate manner, whilst our second guest speaker Ms Maha Krayem Abdo spoke of the Peace of Islam and loving your neighbour respectively. Both speakers gave inspiring examples of the great potential for transformation through the integration of mission and development they each had experienced in their own work, something I’m sure many of our guests also would have experienced within theirs.

This year we celebrated the outstanding contributions of the following worthy award winners:

Roy Boylan Award                                Helena Charlesworth

Damian Keane Award                          Colleen Malone

Cyril Hally Award                                  Paul & Bridgette Barrett

Community Engagement Award        Pollyanna Forshaw

Sustainable Development through    Columban Mission Institute and
voluntary Relationship Award            Edmund Rice – Pacific Calling

Donor Contribution Award                  Anonymous by request

In keeping with the themes of solidarity and integration, this year guests were invited to take part in team games that required them to work together to answer very Palms-inspired questions and gain points for their team which proved both competitive and great fun. A definite highlight of the night was experiencing the sense of solidarity and community that had been discussed, amongst our various guests.

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors including ACU Strathfield, Solidarity Choir, Chris Boylan, Sacred Grounds coffee, Organic Trader Pty Ltd, Nicer Teas and Hollywood Studios for their valuable contributions as well as the wonderful ACU catering team who provided  a delicious buffet and assisted in making the night a success.

We also thank all who supported the 2014 Solidarity Awards by either attending, donating or assisting in preparations. The event would not have been a success without you.

As one of this year’s team of volunteer assistants on the night, and as a graduating student of international development studies, I have often heard and discussed ideas of development in solidarity and mutuality. For this reason a great highlight of the event for myself was hearing from and meeting people who are actively striving to make this idea a reality. As a hopeful development practitioner it is hugely encouraging to know and see that it is possible to make a very real and positive contribution within society both at home and abroad.