On Sunday, July 14, Palms Australia concluded our 102nd orientation course and welcomed seven Australians to our international development program. Over the next few months, these individuals will be departing for Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Kiribati and South Africa to provide two years of professional skill development for staff at local community organisations.
Two course participants, Anne-Marie O’Brien from Queensland and Maryanne Nolan from New South Wales, will be travelling to Dili, Timor Leste, in the next few weeks. Anne-Marie will be supporting program management in inpatient care and mental health services at local health care provider Klibur Domin. Maryanne will join the staff at Ahisaun, a local non-government organisation, to provide administrative training and work with Timorese teachers to improve English language courses.
Queensland’s Marysia Keyes will join fellow Palms participant Paula Evans at Holy Family Care Centre in South Africa where she will work with residential care staff attending seriously ill children recently released from nearby Letaba Hospital. Patsy-Anne Wootton, from Perth, joins Bridget Kennelly and Sue Bartlett in Kiribati, where she will assist I-Kiribati teachers on the remote island of Abaiang in English language tuition.
Patsy-Anne told Palms that the course helped her reconceptualise her project in terms of strengths, rather than needs. “Focusing on what the community has rather than what they need is not only more positive but also more sustainable and in the end, perhaps, more achievable”, she said.
Gregory Lawson and Cathal Nolan will both be working in Papua New Guinea. Gre will join Charles Dufour at Good Shepherd Seminary in Banz to support teachers implementing the English language curriculum and work with the current bursar in improving record-keeping practices. Cathal joins the team at the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen to mentor trades apprentices, providing training for young men that can create ongoing employment opportunities and delivering basic services to the local community. Cathal told Palms he is excited to keep in touch with his fellow course participants during his time in PNG to build mutual support while abroad.
Antony Ygosse, who has formerly been a Palms program participant in Samoa, is discerning between current opportunities across the Pacific.
On behalf of Palms Australia staff and supporters, we welcome each of our recent course participants to the Palms family and wish them the best on their placements. Supporters are invited to share the links to each of these projects so that more members of our Australian community can read about the communities being supported by Palms and donate to these projects.
Palms next orientation course will be held in January 2020. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering their expertise abroad in the next couple of years, get in touch for more information by calling 02 9560 5333 or email [email protected]