Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

The Diocese of Gizo, one of three Diocese within Solomon Islands has requested a Palms participant to support rural development through increasing vocational educational opportunities.  The role will include supervising and delivering vocational courses in Plumbing at St Dominic’s Rural Training Centre (RTC), Vanga, Kolombangara. The RTC has 70 male students aged between 16-15 and 12 teachers. All students and staff live on the school property.

Rural Training Centres play an important role in Solomon Islands, providing access to vocational education for youth who don’t have access to formal higher education opportunities.

Rural training centres allow young people to develop livelihood skills and income earning opportunities to support their families in a country with a fast growing population and high youth unemployment.

The Location

St Dominic’s RTC is located at Vanga Point on Kolombangara Island. It is a 1-hour open water boat ride to the nearest town – Gizo. Gizo is the capital of the Western Province in Solomon Islands.

The RTC has 270 ha of land – some of which was used as a cattle farm in the past. There are three campuses at Vanga – a primary school, Vanga Teachers College, and the Rural Training Centre.

There is a clinic with a full-time nurses’ aid and an RN comes across from Gizo once a month.

The Challenge

With few opportunities for formal training in trades in Solomon Islands, those working in the sector are often self-taught and learning on the job. This leaves tradespeople in the country with varied skills and knowledge of safe, effective, and sustainable practices.

Maintaining household and business sanitation is essential for preventing the spread of disease. An awareness of the local resources available to build, maintain and use facilities will be critical to the successful training of students who will be able to implement their skills and knowledge after the placement has ended.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Relevant qualifications and experience in providing training for plumbers
  • Experience in mentoring teachers and young people
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • Willingness to work in Vanga for a minimum of 12 – 24 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:

  • Deliver effective teaching using evidence-based pedagogical methods
  • Develop teaching materials for the vocational education program
  • 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.