Our Volunteers: John Gartner volunteering in Papua New Guinea

Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea

Former Palms volunteer Cecilia Schmidt with a Youth Assembly in Kiunga
The diocese of Daru-Kiunga is covers a very large area of PNG’s Western Province. Many Western Province communities are in very remote areas with limited access to health and education facilities.

The major source of revenue and opportunity for the people of this province is the Ok Tedi open cut copper mine, operated by BHP Billiton. While providing some opportunity, the mine has also brought challenges to the region as large numbers of people have migrated to Kiunga to seek economic opportunities. Despite the mineral riches of the area, the Western Province remains PNG’s least developed province, partly due to the swampy terrain and partly due to the ongoing export of wealth.

The Catholic Diocese of Daru-Kiunga is the major service provider for the people of Western Province in education, health and other social services. It runs primary and secondary schools, hospitals, women’s programs and leadership training amongst others.

Bishop Gilles Cote placed a request with Palms Australia for a Management Support Services Trainer to work with and mentor local staff.

John Gartner

Palms Australia recruited John Gartner to meet the needs of Daru-Kiunga.

John is a Mechanical Engineer with many years experience in Project, Contract and Personnel Management at senior levels of a number of organisations in Western Australia.

John has overseen delivery of Building Maintenance contracts in regional areas, including managing several staff of different trades and disciplines.

His experience as a manager and his practical understanding of engineering and construction make him very well equipped to assist the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga continue working for sustainable development in the area.

Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea

Former Palms volunteer Cecilia Schmidt with a Youth Assembly in Kiunga
The diocese of Daru-Kiunga is covers a very large area of PNG’s Western Province. Many Western Province communities are in very remote areas with limited access to health and education facilities.

The major source of revenue and opportunity for the people of this province is the Ok Tedi open cut copper mine, operated by BHP Billiton. While providing some opportunity, the mine has also brought challenges to the region as large numbers of people have migrated to Kiunga to seek economic opportunities. Despite the mineral riches of the area, the Western Province remains PNG’s least developed province, partly due to the swampy terrain and partly due to the ongoing export of wealth.

The Catholic Diocese of Daru-Kiunga is the major service provider for the people of Western Province in education, health and other social services. It runs primary and secondary schools, hospitals, women’s programs and leadership training amongst others.

Seeds bear fruit at Christmas and beyond

November 25, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear 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 are quite a good size now and beyond the workshop most of them would be ready for inoculation. Have to find a market now.

 This is due to your great work on the Farm. Thank you so much. If the income will be as good as predicted it will help us a lot in the future.

At Reyenai plantation we have about 6,600 trees growing well. We only lost about 250 altogether which is excellent.

 That is all for today. I hope that you are all keeping as well as our Eagle Wood trees are keeping well.

 Pray for us as we do for you.

 Bishop Gilles
Western Province PNG

John Gartner and Des Hansen are Palms returnees who both volunteered at Emmaus Farm, PNG. The seeds of development sown in the Emmaus Farm community continue to bear fruit long after their departure.
...and what are Eaglewood Trees?
Eaglewood (Aquilaria crassna, also known as Oud) produces a very resinous and aromatic timber which has been a prized source of perfume and incense since prehistory. Now quite rare in the wild, most of the last natural stands of this tree are in Papua New Guinea, where increasing value of the wood makes forest populations a tempting target for commercial exploitation. With increased capacity, rural communities in PNG are now adopting the sustainable alternative by developing and managing their own plantations of this “treasure tree”, which both generates income and reduces pressure on the natural environment. 

  


News in brief

November 15, 2012

Three brief updates from Fran Hewitt in South Africa, John Gartner in Papua New Guinea and Kernah Foster in Kiribati.

Click here to read the full article

Papua New Guinea Field Trip

May 22, 2012

A recent trip to Madang and Kiunga provided many insights into the importance of our volunteers and our approach to volunteering.

Click here to read the full article

More articles

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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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