by Roger O’Halloran
The Palms Program is 59 years old. It was begun in 1961 by the Paulian Association, which had started five years earlier in 1956. It has of course evolved in that time and as we approach Palms Diamond Jubilee we want to map and publish exactly what it has meant to the different people engaged, both in Australia and beyond.
We’re looking for the perspectives of those who were sent to a placement, those who received our people in requesting communities and those who have bumped into either along the way. My hope is that you, and all others reading this, are able to provide a brief or even longer written reflection, or photograph, or both, to answer one or more of the questions below.
We hope to map the program’s evolution to identify salient points that reflect cultural change, both in Australia and overseas or organisational decisions, initiated by our own governance and management that took Palms in an alternative direction. I expect we could find some changes that have had an element of both. Some may have been more revolutionary than evolutionally.
What you write will be from your own experience, without necessarily referencing broader cultural change, or organisational decisions. Such may become evident only after the synthesis and analysis of all the material provided, and only if we have enough.
So to the questions:
- What is your experience of Palms? Were you on assignment? Did you host someone on assignment? Did you meet someone engaged with Palms?
- Did this experience influence your perspective of the world? Did it change your work/life? If so, how? (I noticed… I wondered… I realised…)
- Did your engagement with or knowledge of Palms work challenge you? Inspire you? Give you energy? Teach you anything?
- What do you believe to be the core purpose of Palms’ work? How do you understand its values, attitudes, beliefs and approach?
Please email any reflections/photos to [email protected].