Our Volunteers: Bruce and Rowena Farquharson volunteering in P.N.G.

Tapini School and Health Centre, Papua New Guinea

Des Hansen with students at Tapini in 2008Tapini, in Papua New Guinea’s Central Province, is located 180km from Port Moresby and is only accessible by small plane. As in many parts of PNG, Tapini’s isolation makes it difficult to develop adequate services and attract skilled professionals. The community in Tapini and the surrounding Goilala region are significantly disadvantaged by their isolation. The lack of affordable transport has cut off a major source of income by placing Port Moresby’s markets out of reach for local producers. This has also led to an urban drift away from the area, creating many social problems.

Sacred Heart School sees great potential in information technology to overcome the challenges of isolation and has placed a request with Palms Australia for a volunteer to assist develop their infrastructure and their IT skills. Tapini is also home to the OLSH Health Centre, which serves as the primary health care provider for many nearby villages. The Health Centre has 36 inpatient beds, including Maternity, Childrens, TB, Pre-Natal and General Wards. It also provides general outpatient services and care, medication and education for people with HIV/AIDS. A number of young staff have recently been recruited and are showing a great enthusiasm for learning more about running an effective health centre. The community at Tapini has requested an experienced nurse to help mentor the new Health Centre staff in primary health care provision.

Bruce and Rowena Farquharson

Bruce and RowenaBruce and Rowena Farquharson, from Hamilton in Victoria, will volunteer in Tapini to meet the above roles.

Bruce brings almost 30 years experience with the Country Fire Authority in Victoria, including skills in people management, training, logistics and communications. He has also served on the Board of Monivae College which has a long-term relationship with Tapini.

Rowena has worked as a Registered Nurse for many years, including managing other nurses within the Western District Health Service. She has a broad range of skills which will prove useful in Tapini, ranging from clinical care to staff management and training.

Meet our 10 newest volunteers

November 29, 2013

Help us get these ten terrific volunteers into the field in 2014. You can make a general donation to Palms Australia or click through to an individual profile to support a particular volunteer.

carmel-lawryLouisa Cataldo (left), from Casula NSW, will volunteer as a teacher at Holy Family Care Centre in Tzaneen in South Africa. Carmel Lawry (right), a nurse from Bentley VIC, will return to Holy Family for her second Palms placement.

Bruce and Rowena Farquharson, from Hamilton VIC, will work as an IT Specialist and Nurse at Sacred Heart College and OLSH Health Centre in Tapini, P.N.G.

Peta Snikeris from Mount Saint Thomas NSW, will volunteer as a Lecturer and Medical Research Coordinator at Divine Word University in Madang, P.N.G.

Guida Cabrita (left) from Ormiston QLD, and Samantha Haddin (right) from Stanmore NSW will act as teachers and mentors in two schools in Bedois, Dili, Timor-Leste.

David Le Breton’s second Palms volunteer placement will involve sharing trade and management skills at the Teaoraereke Village Workshop in Kiribati.

Former volunteer Paul Tan working on a new water pump with local staff in the Diocesan Office.Johannes Wungun and Esther Sim at Kiunga missionPaul Tan (left) and Esther Sim (right) will take up their second Palms placement, this time sharing their HR, IT and accounting skills with our partners at Organisation Haburas Moris (OHM) in Maliana, Timor-Leste.

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Bruce and Rowena's placement has completed, but you can still help us provide volunteers to many other communities by using the form below.

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As Bruce and Rowena's volunteer placement has ended, your donation will be placed towards the costs of sending and supporting other Palms volunteers to exchange skills with our partner communities. For more information contact Palms Australia.

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Papua New Guinea

PNG Flag

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 […]

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