Palms Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia.
We recognise the continuing connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have to their lands and waters, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
We would also like to specifically pay our respects to the Gadigal and Wangal People of the Eora Nation, as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which the Palms office is located.
We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We believe enabling people to open their palms and reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion, nationality and gender will empower cooperation to achieve a just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful world free of poverty.
Palms Australia believes communities are the best architects of their own development. They posses the contextual and cultural awareness that informs sustainable solutions to poverty. Development assistance must be provided at the request of, not imposed on, communities in need. This underpins our international assignments program.
Priority is given to requests from vital grass-roots organisations, seeking sustainable solutions to poverty, based on community articulated goals and strategies. Relationships and skill development are prioritised ahead of the buildings, equipment, and goods that others offer as aid. Requests are met by recruiting qualified and experienced Australians to share their skills. They are thoroughly prepared and supported for authentic relationships and mutual development to build on existing strengths of the local community.
Solidarity is the key energising value of Palms Australia. Solidarity is a principle arising out of our reflection that all living creatures are interdependent. Relationship invites responsibility and, therefore, solidarity.
Solidarity involves liberation of victims, oppressors and innocent bystanders, allowing all life to live to the full and is not about a vague sort of compassion or shallow distress at others’ misfortune. The more who achieve this potential in life, the greater will be the contribution of all to a common or universal good.
In valuing solidarity we value love that is lived out in respect for the dignity of all life. We value humility lived out in personal integrity and responsibility. We value justice lived out in a willingness to challenge structures that prevent collective participation in creative solutions.
The interaction of these values calls us to further values. The interface of love and humility suggests transparency. The interface of humility and justice suggests ecological sensitivity. The interface of justice and love suggests participative community building. The interface of love, humility and justice gives grace to the value of peace. Movement to such deep peace will be a movement to solidarity.
For more information on our policies, read our participant handbook on Palms Policies and Code of Conduct (PDF).
Palms Australia started in Sydney in 1956 as the Paulian Association. Groups formed in around 100 communities to identify local issues, reflect on values and take appropriate action to address social inequality and assist people in need.
After identifying that similar issues needed to be addressed globally, in 1961 the program was extended to communities overseas. These communities requested professional assistance to develop health, education and other facilities. Since then, Palms Australia has placed over 1500 individuals in 40 countries around the world.
Read about the evolution of the program HERE.