Our Members

Palms Australia is a unique independent and democratic organisation, open to the direction of its members. The board has five directors elected by the membership and three appointed by those five to ensure a strong network and appropriate talents are available to take Palms forward. It is an agency whose legal structure is voluntary, not-for-profit and non-government.

Palms Australia consists of members from diverse backgrounds. If you would like to become a member of Palms Australia or to find out more, please visit our Membership page.

Our Team

Palms Australia currently has seven staff members in our Sydney office supported by a number of volunteers in New South Wales, in the field and interstate.

Our Board

Prof Marea Nicholson


Associate Vice Chancellor, Australian Catholic University

Dip Teach; Grad Dip Ed St; BA; M Ed; PhD

Kristina Gunawan


Finance Manager, CFO Strategic


Palms Australia program participant, Timor-Leste 2010-12

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen

Ordained 1989

Bishop, Parramatta Diocese 2016 – Present

Dr Antony Faa

Senior Medical Officer, Warwick Hospital

Palms Australia program participant, PNG 2002-04

Peter Smyth


Palms Australia program participant, PNG 2010-12

Brendan Joyce

Digital Strategist Lead at Caritas Australia

BSc; Grad Dip Ed; Grad Cert RE; M Int Soc Dev (Dev)

Palms Australia program participant, Bougainville 2003-04

Jane Woolford

NSW Regional Coordinator, Save the Children Australia

BA; Grad Cert Hum Serv; Grad Dip Coms; Dip Ed

Alex Varley

General Manager Customer Experience, Northcott

BBus (Marketing); Grad Dip Urb Des

Our Patrons

Palms Australia is proud to have the following patrons of our organisation.

H.E. Dr Jose Ramos Horta

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Past President and Prime Minister Timor-Leste

Deacon Gary Stone

Australian Defence Force Chaplain
Peacekeeper Timor-Leste
Founding member Friends and Partners with East Timor

The role of patron includes, but is not limited to:

  • Enhancing the status of Palms Australia by their willingness to be publically associated with the objectives and activities.
  • Providing advice and counsel on general directions or specific activities of Palms Australia.
  • Attending public events of Palms Australia as VIPs and from time to time, participate in significant events.
  • Attending fundraising events or support fundraising activities.

Members may nominate further individuals, whom they believe would assist promote the vision and mission of Palms Australia.