Despite increasing affluence in the ‘developed’ world, large numbers of people globally still live in poverty. Much of the aid given by wealthy nations is spent on large infrastructure projects, expatriate salaries and short-term solutions.

An assignment abroad with Palms Australia, by contrast, is among the most effective and sustainable methods for reducing poverty in disadvantaged communities. When you commit to a two year assignment abroad, you receive:

  • a comprehensive pre-placement preparation course
  • return travel to country of placement
  • accommodation
  • basic living allowance equivalent to a local salary
  • support throughout your placement
  • connection with Palms’ network of current and former participants
  • a comprehensive debrief when you return to Australia.

Not only will you be supporting a community organisation being the architect of it’s own development, you will benefit from immeasurable personal and professional growth.

How Palms supports sustainable solutions to poverty.

Our participants work overseas for an average of two years. They work side-by-side with local counterparts and share the skills that the communities themselves have identified they need. We prioritise placements in remote areas that typically don’t receive the support of larger aid organisations. These areas usually house the communities that benefit most from the capacity building skilled professionals provide.

The solidarity shown by Palms Australia participants in living simply with their hosts allows them to more effectively share the concerns of their local counterparts, identifying with them the best methods to contribute. Certainly, professionals engaged in the Palms program gain unique insight into another culture, as they live not at a detached distance, but immersed in the everyday lives of local people.

How Palms Australia is unlike any other program in Australia.

Unlike some short-term volunteering opportunities out there, participants in Palms Australia assignments spend one to three years with their host community. Consequently, participants ensure the sustainability of their work long after they return home.

Palms Australia doesn’t receive government funding. We are an efficient, small team based in Sydney. So every dollar we receive from our generous donors goes towards placing, training, managing and supporting skilled professionals abroad.

Participants are provided with accommodation, pastoral support, a basic living allowance, return travel to the receiving community and comprehensive insurance throughout their time in the field. They are also thoroughly prepared for their placement before departure via an 8-day Orientation Course and a correspondence program, which builds on their credentials and increases their capacity to work effectively in a new culture. We provide comprehensive support for participants upon their return home as they transition back into life in Australia. We provide an expert-led re-entry workshop for all returned participants that forms a crucial part of this process.

We’ve been recruiting, preparing, sending and supporting Australians abroad since 1961, which makes us the longest running independent international volunteer program in the country. If you’re looking to work with a program built on genuine, mutually beneficial relationships that create sustainable change, we would love to hear from you. There really is nothing else like sharing your skills through Palms Australia.