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PALMS loss leads to more collaboration

Losing all of its government funding has opened the door to forging new partnerships with other Catholic groups and dioceses, according to PALMS.

The Catholic Weekly reports that PALMS Australia, the lay Catholic agency which prepares and supports volunteers for service in developing countries, failed in its bid for a newly reviewed system of Ausaid funding, in favour of two commercial groups and one linked with the South Australian government.

For 20 years PALMS had relied on Ausaid, the Federal Goverment's overseas development arm, to provide up to 60% of its funding, this year about $250,000.

In the process of applying for new funding it formed close ties to the Australian Catholic University and several religious orders, congegations and their lay partners engaged in similar work.

The groups formed a Catholic consortium and pulled together to present the tender which was rejected. They now intend to continue working "much more closely" together.

Mr O'Halloran believes that Ausaid's choices indicate a current interest in business development over community development.

Australian Catholics will need to step in if PALMS is to respond to its 100 requests from overseas communities for Catholic volunteers.

PALMS lost funds but found friends (Catholic Weekly 27/3/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
PALMS Australia

Funding setback for lay missionary organisation (CathNews 9/3/05)

24 Mar 2005