Palms Australia’s Solidarity Awards are held each year to recognise the individuals and organisations that share Palms’ mission to achieve a world free of poverty. This year we were unable to gather to celebrate these awards but could not go past insuring the worthy winners were publicised.
Our major award, the Roy Boylan Award, recognises an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to justice and peace at home and abroad. This year, the Roy Boylan Award recognised the contribution of Kevin Wilson. Kevin undertook two placements abroad in Bougainville and in Timor-Leste. As well as being a dedicated member of the Palms team for seven years he also volunteers in the office and over five years has contributed around 2,000 hours. Kevin is also a financial member and regular donor to Palms.
Barry Hinton, from Queensland, was awarded the Br. Damien Keane Award for reliable and consistent volunteer commitment behind the scenes in the community. Barry undertook two placements in Timor-Leste and has acted in a volunteer role as In-Country Co-ordinator there for over 15 years. He assists those sent to Timor-Leste to understand local culture and nurtures them through good and difficult times. He also responds to Palms office requests to translate documents and acts as an adviser, interpreter and driver during field visits. He recently connected Palms to a major donor.
Gary and Michael Stone were awarded the Community Engagement Award. Gary and Michael have spent more than 50 years collectively supporting developments in Timor and in particular the Timorese people. Through the Timor Awakening Program, they have brought Australian and Timorese veterans together to develop a national Timorese veterans association and regional community groups to ensure that veterans and their families have access to the care and support necessary for a good quality of life.
The Instituto Catolico para Formacao de Professores, Baucau was awarded the Sustainable Relationships Awards. The award recognises organisations and institutions that facilitate Palms’ approach to solidarity where the mutual development of individuals and organisations is achieved through long-term relationships. For over 20 years the Instituto Catolico para Formacao de Professores, Bacau has supported the training of Timorese teachers thus building the capacity of Timorese schools and subsequently the opportunities of students and their communities. For much of this time they partnered with Palms, effectively engaging our program participants to work alongside and mentor Timorese personnel in administration, finance and teacher training.
Dr. Paul Kelly and Jennifer Gallagher, former participants in Malawi, were awarded the Cyrill Hally Award recognising their contribution to recruitment and effective cross-cultural engagement. Paul and Jennifer have assisted to provide professional health advice to Palms program staff and Orientation Course participants. They also prepare health material for Palms Information Booklets.
The Donor Contribution Award will remain anonymous. The humility and generosity of a recent donor is demonstrated by their insistence that we maintain their anonymity in relation to their 2020 donation of $200,000.