YWAM Medical Ships Australia (YWAM MSA) has hosted its first outreach in Port Moresby from 23-27 July. The 38 metre long vessel, the Pacific Link, was open to tours for the public on Monday, 23 July, at Steamships Wharf.
This week was an eye-opening picture of what it looks like to live and volunteer aboard a medical ship; showcasing a small picture of the work YWAM is doing in rural and remote areas of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Gulf and Western Provinces. Pre-selected dental patients have had the opportunity to receive treatment on board the Ship while primary health care clinics operated in pre-determined shore-based regions.
The Ship also served as a catalyst to inspire and strengthen cooperative and collaborative relationships between the Ship’s home berth of Townsville and Port Moresby. The two communities have been sister cities since 1983, when then Mayor Mike Reynolds, suggested that mutual cultural and economic relationships could emerge from formalising the sister city relationship.
Mr Reynolds, who is now the Australian patron for YWAM MSA, said the week would include some very strategic meetings between key stakeholders from Townsville and PNG. “Townsville Chamber of Commerce are sending a delegation during this week and we anticipate that the synergies created during this week will continue to build strong bridges of person to person relationships across our communities.”
Sir Rabbie Namaliu, former Prime Minister of PNG, and the PNG patron for YWAM MSA, attended and supported several events during the week.
Other guests included High Commissioner for PNG, His Excellency Ian Kemish; Federal Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones; Federal Member for Ryan, Jane Prentice; Dr Daryl Holmes, Managing Director of 1300 SMILES (Townsville-based dental group which has been a key supporter for YWAM’s dental program in PNG); and Kim Cooper, former Australian Idol contestant who lended her talent and support to strengthening YWAM’s work.
YWAM MSA cares about strengthening linkages between Australia and PNG. Since 2010, YWAM MSA has delivered 74,327 training and health services to develop communities in rural PNG.
Plans are already underway to return to the Western Province from August-September. First, in July, YWAM MSA was able to share their vision for a future continued growing relationship between the two nations and new ways to educate, equip, and care for as many individuals as possible.