Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

Bishop George Lungu, Diocese of Chipata, Zambia has requested a Palms participant to work with Diocesan finance staff [Priests, Sisters, Lay Associates and Seminarians] to build accounting knowledge and capacity through developing, coordinating/guiding and implementing the financial management of accounting activities across the Diocese.

Training and mentoring staff will be an important element to this role.

The Location

The Diocese of Chipata offices are located 2.8km from Chipata Township [approximately 1,100 metres above sea level] in the Eastern Province of Zambia close to the Malawi border [110 km from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi].  Chipata town is located about 600kms from Lusaka [capital of Zambia].   The population of Chipata district is approximately 85,963.  The closest major airport is Chipata Airport (CIP / FLCP). This airport is 11 km from the centre of Chipata, Zambia.

The Challenge

Effective financial management is critical to the ongoing operations of the Diocese’s programs. The Diocese needs to establish recordkeeping processes, transparent expense systems, and sustainable reporting procedures to ensure the organisations funding is appropriately spent in accordance with funding expectations. These procedures will facilitate growth across the existing programs and enable the Diocese to plan strategically.


About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Qualifications in accounting or finance
  • Experience in management and use of Pastel accounting software [desirable]
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • Willingness to work in a community abroad for a minimum of 12 months, with limited resources and facilities.
  • A 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 training and mentoring staff in sound accounting processes and procedures that will assist with:

  • Budget preparation
  • Financial strategic planning
  • Monthly & Quarterly Financial reporting
  • Ensure compliance and standards are being met
  • Improved accountability and security
  • Filing/Record keeping procedures
  • Staff work plans
  • Report to the Treasurer-General


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

    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.