Where do we work?: Papua New Guinea

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Population: 7,656,959

Area: 462,840 sq. km.

Median Age: 21.5

Literacy: 57.3 %

Languages: Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin), English, Motu, c.820 indigenous languages

The terrain of Papua New Guinea varies from its rugged mountainous spine to its beautiful beaches to its volcanic islands to one of the world’s largest swamps and the large river systems of the Sepik and Fly rivers. These geographical differences have created a unique country with many diverse cultures. The ties within a family unit are very important providing a social system where each person is responsible for his or her “wantoks” or people who speak the same language. Unfortunately, the “wantok system” can also lead to a distrust between cultures. To build trust rather than nepotism volunteers need to be equipped to deal sensitively with such issues.

Current Volunteers   Recent Volunteers
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Below are some profiles of volunteers currently working in Papua New Guinea.

John Dorton, not that old.

John Dorton

Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea The Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, serves the remote communities in Papua New Guinea’s large Western Province. Besides spiritual and pastoral care, the diocese manages several projects supporting education and sustainable income generation in this mostly rural area. Palms has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with Daru-Kiunga, and several of […]


John Dorton in Papua New Guinea

December 16, 2016

John Dorton, not that old.

Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea The Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, serves the remote communities in Papua New Guinea’s large Western Province. Besides spiritual and pastoral care, the diocese manages several projects supporting education and sustainable income generation in this mostly rural area. Palms has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with Daru-Kiunga, and several of […]


Hugs and Handshakes

September 19, 2016

Les meeting a Mt Hagen Elder

Volunteers generally come to Palms with wide and diverse experience, before being immersed in entirely new cultures, where pre-conceptions quickly unravel. The exception to prove the rule though is Les Hartwig, who with his wife Norelle, has spent most of his life and career in Papua New Guinea. Now volunteering in Mt Hagen, he is […]


Graham’s return journey

March 2, 2016

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  Serial volunteer Graham Andrews flies back to Papua New Guinea for his latest Palms placement in the Diocese of Wewak. Having completed two placements in PNG, what does one expect in the Land of the Unexpected? Greetings from a hot and humid Wewak! Yes, hot and humid but not unbearable. If I thought I would […]


Seeds bear fruit at Christmas and beyond

November 25, 2015

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Dear John and Des I bring you good news. Some of our Eagle Wood trees both at Emmaus Farm and behind our workshops are bearings pods. This is wonderful. We were waiting for that. Next week we will collect sand again and get some beds ready for the germination when the time comes. The trees […]


Hope for Health in PNG

July 14, 2015

Peta and Dr Koka sml

Peta Snikeris, a health lecturer from Wollongong NSW has spent a year in Papua New Guinea mentoring students and staff at Divine Word University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, finding her early hopes fulfilled much more than expected. She writes-   So here I am, twelve months on from arriving at Divine Word University in Madang, […]


Medicine and Health

April 20, 2015

With its difficult terrain, tropical climate and limited infrastructure, Papua New Guinea is one the world’s most challenging health environments. Although the nation has experienced steady economic growth since Independence (mostly though mining and other heavy industry), development in the medical sector has been slow. Papua New Guineans throughout the country suffer the ever present […]


Teaching and Education

April 15, 2015

Through the decades leading to Independence in 1975 and especially so since, education has been integral to development in Papua New Guinea. A high standard of education was provided through mission schools and increasing educational opportunity remains a priority for the National Government. Despite this many of the population still receive only a basic primary […]


Business, Legal and Financial

Papua New Guinea has an extremely diverse economy: Traditional subsistence agriculture and fishing still flourish alongside tourism, manufacturing, retail and IT enterprises. Rapid expansion in Government, business and industrial sectors has highlighted the need for sound business processes and accountablity. Additionally many local NGOs, NFPs and community organisations require assistance to build the business skills […]


Below are some of the volunteer positions Palms Australia is seeking to fill in . To find out more about any position or about other opportunities, please enquire about volunteering with Palms Australia.


Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless. - Sherry Anderson