From Teacher’s Desk to Destiny

From Teacher’s Desk to Destiny

Six decades of inspired teachers taking their talents overseas

For almost 60 years teachers have been expanding horizons by teaching in overseas communities.

You can follow in the footsteps of hundreds of teachers who have heeded the call to take on an overseas placement through Palms Australia and one of our community partners. You will get to provide education and training in the host community, experience cross-cultural exchange and contribute to the vision of a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world free of poverty.

As part of our Palms60 celebrations we have interviewed a number of teachers who participated in our overseas placement program since it started in the 1960s. Michelle, Colleen and Margaret taught in Papua New Guinea. Paul and Marilyn took on a placement in Tonga.

As their stories below show, the source of their inspiration and the impact on their lives varied.

In the late 60s, Michele wanted to share her expertise and experience with communities who didn’t have the same educational opportunities. Through her experiences teaching overseas she learned to “step out into the dark, into places where I don’t have access to all the answers and to develop trust and confidence that things will work out”.

In the late 70s, Colleen felt a burning desire to do social justice work overseas. Her placement confirmed for her the universal importance of belonging and connection in an ever changing world that continually presents new challenges and opportunities.

In the early 80s, Margaret was motivated by curiosity and an interest in doing something different. During her placement she developed a strong sense of social justice, an interest in the environment, an ability to take the initiative and an appreciation for a slower, simpler way of doing things.

In the late 80s, Paul and Marilyn wanted to make a difference to an overseas community while offering their young daughters an immersive cross-cultural experience. Living as a family, in close community with other families, highlighted for them that happiness comes from social connection rather than from material things.

Many other intrepid teachers have followed similar paths in the decades since. If you’re interested in a world changing and life changing experience through an overseas teaching placement you can check out the current opportunities on the Palms website. While COVID prevents placements being undertaken immediately we are currently taking enquiries about positions in a number of overseas countries that we expect to commence in 2021.  Enrolment in our January Orientation Course will see you prepared to go in the first half of the year. Find out more on August 30.

Feature image: Palms participant Colleen Keating with Science students in Madang, Papua New Guinea – 1969