Palms Golden Jubilee Dinner

07/09/2011

Palms is marking its 50th annivesary with a Jubilee Dinner & Celebration on Saturday 22 October in West Ryde.

In July 1961, a meeting of members of the Paulian Association decided to extend the scope of its social programs outside their local communities. From this meeting, 'Palms' (Paulian Association Lay Missionary Society) was born with the first volunteers departing in January 1962 for the then-Australian territories of Papua and New Guinea.

Since this time, the now re-named Palms Australia has met more than 1,400 requests from our overseas partners in 38 countries in the Pacific, Australia, Africa, Asia and South America. Palms’ volunteers depart with the values of 'live humbly', 'love tenderly' and 'walk humbly'.

During the course of 50 years, Palms’ volunteers have given more than $200,000,000 in value to the communities they have served.

This includes:

  • Educating more than 65,000 students and 1,600 teachers;
  • Providing more than 120,000 days primary health services, including mentoring local nurses and health administrators;
  • Mentoring more than 2,000 in trades and agriculture; and
  • Training more than 700 staff in administration of local projects and services.

While Palms Australia doesn't judge its effectiveness on purely economic terms, understanding that the value of this work goes far beyond the numbers above, it is worth considering quantitative measures such as these and using them as a tool for celebrating Palms’ history.

Palms Australia volunteers are now working in Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kiribati, Timor-Leste, Thai/Burma border, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

The roles they are performing are many and varied; no longer just the “teacher”, “nurse” from the earliest days. Palms’ volunteers fill such roles as Financial Planners, Teachers, Youth Workers, Activity and Project Co-ordinators, Doctors and Organisational Development Officers.

Palms, a registered charity, is very much a volunteer organisation, existing predominantly on donations.

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