Ben Croxford

Physiotherapist, Back In Motion, Wantirna South (VIC)

"I loved meeting the people, hearing their stories; and being able to feel the rhythm of Palm Island was something that I really enjoyed."

BHaving been to Palm Island previously, I went on this trip with many expectations – yet I feel this trip was an entirely different experience. Going for longer; being able to engage with the people and the community; to live, breathe, eat and sleep on Palm Island; really sent home the message of how broken and hurting this place is. I never expected to be challenged as much as I was; not so much in terms of how confronting Palm Island can be, but more so being challenged in the big picture – asking serious questions about myself.

I felt that I knew enough about the island, the people and the culture as I could. Yet, nothing can prepare you for the emotional journey I found I was taken on working with the beautiful people at Palm. The emotional journey one goes through on an Outreach Mission like this I think is one of the most important elements; it assists with developing a heart for our hurting world. To be touched and changed and transformed by the people we are privileged to meet is, I feel, so important!

Being able to engage with the island over a week really exposed so much of its personality, character and its issues. I loved meeting the people, hearing their stories and being able to feel the rhythm of Palm Island was something that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the down time too, particularly because so much of the week is so intense. I valued the ability we had to sit, play cards, laugh and relax our minds!

As a general rule though, ‘enjoy’ is not the right word. I don’t think I ‘enjoyed’ my week on Palm so much as I was challenged, moved, encouraged and in some ways disheartened by the week. It wasn’t a holiday to enjoy. However that’s not to talk down the experience, I hold that week I spent at Palm as such an invaluable experience that will hopefully drive me to be a better person.