Christine [second from the right] with Program Participants Helena Charlesworth, Zita [former Principal of Sacred Heart Secondary School, Bikenebeu – RIP], Sue Ryan and Marlene Rasmussen – Kiribati Field trip 2014
By Christine O’Halloran
The time is nearing when I will be finishing my role as Programs & Placement Coordinator with Palms Australia. There have been many challenges but also many joys! After 21 years I am going to miss many aspects of my role, especially the truly inspirational participants and incredibly resourceful and hospitable partners.
It has been a privilege to share the journey with participants as they transition to another culture/country. I have shared their deep delight as they met the challenge of building relationships and learning, not only about the culture in which they went to live, but about themselves. I have seen extraordinary commitment and dedication to sharing their skills.
My joy and learning too was facilitated in working with many overseas partners who entrusted Palms to assist in achieving their development! I was trusted with facilitating the requests sent to us for qualified and experienced Australians who could help build skill capacity. The commitment to their communities and country motivated my determination to prepare and support as suitable a candidate as was available.
Sustainable development outcomes have been built on the very solid foundations of the understanding acceptance and care that participants and partners have offered one another. That both were willing to give me the incredible responsibility of facilitating their connection and ongoing support was an honour.
I will miss these elements of my role but I know that the good work of Palms Australia’s programs and participant support will continue through the work of our new staff, Emily Shaw [Participant Support Officer] and Lalena Graham the new Programs & Placement Coordinator. I wish them well and I thank all Palms participants, partners and staff, and all in the broader Palms networks, for the friendship that we have shared over the years.