Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

St John Bosco Primary School are looking for an English mentor for the 12 teachers at the school.  You will be strengthening the capacity of local teachers as well as teaching students at the school.

St John Bosco Nusabaruku was established to increase educational access for 256 currently enrolled primary aged children coming from communities on the outskirts of Gizo villages where families are from Malaita and Kiribati.  The school aims to bring understanding and integration between the different traditions and local languages.

Feature image: St John Bosco Nusabaruku
[The school has six classrooms and a multipurpose room, as well as three houses for school staff]

The Location

Nusabaruku is a fishing village located on a hill on the outskirts of Gizo.  Gizo is the capital of the Western Province in Solomon Islands. With a population of 7,177 (as of 2019 It is situated on Gizo Island approximately 380 kilometres (236 miles) west-northwest of the capital, Honiara, and is just southwest of the larger island of Kolombangara.

The Challenge

About 12.7 percent of the population of Solomon Islands lives below the poverty line. Roughly 20 to 25 percent of youth in the country never attend primary school with 30 percent of those attending never completing school. Limited access to education and an adult literacy rate of less than 35 percent perpetuate the cycle of poverty from generation to generation.  Prior to St John Bosco being established, children from Nusabaruku could not easily attend school, with the nearest school on Gizo involving an open boat trip.

Eighty-four percent of Solomon Islanders reside in rural areas and rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. Access to health care and other social services is very limited.  Transport, electricity and telecommunications infrastructure is poor or non-existent.  With the majority of youth living in remote areas with limited educational and employment prospects, overcoming poverty is a challenge.

About You

The Palms participants will need to have:

  • Qualifications or relevant experience in teaching English to primary aged children
  • Experience in mentoring teachers
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • Willingness to work in Gizo for a minimum of 12 months, with limited resources and facilities
  • Willingness to engage their Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role

How You Will Help

First you must be willing to learn from the local community.

Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations.  During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you.  You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.

You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.

In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and what of your knowledge applies to:

  • Develop teaching materials for the primary school program (while following the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Curriculum).
  • Deliver effective teaching using evidence-based pedagogical methods
  • Contribute to the capacity building of the staff


Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    PLEASE NOTE - Successful applicants must be:
    • available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and cannot sponsor visas to attend this course.
    • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand or an Australian or New Zealand permanent resident residing in Australia. (Australian or New Zealand citizens residing overseas may be considered on a case-by-case basis).
    • willing to complete a Police Check and a Working With Children Check before commencement of an assignment.