Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

The Diocese of Kundiawa in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is looking for a Finance and Accountant Mentor.

You will be working with the team to review and develop policies and guidelines on financial processes that will reflect a sound accounting system and will be captured in a published finance manual.

The Location

Kundiawa is the capital of Simbu Province, with a population of 11,553 (2013).  The town is built on an old Lutheran mission site and is located on a pine-covered hilltop surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, coffee plantations and vegetable gardens. It is a trading centre for the surrounding highlands and receives power from the Ramu River hydroelectric project.

Kundiawa lies along the Highlands Highway approximately halfway between Goroka and Mount Hagen (respectively the capitals of the Eastern Highlands and Western Highlands provinces).  Travel time to Mt Hagen is approximately 2 hours and Goroka 2.5 hours.

The Challenge

PNG has a rich and varied culture. As the largest Pacific Island nation, it is home to a diverse population of 7.6 million people with around 850 languages.   More than 76% of the population are under the age of 35.  Despite experiencing significant economic growth over the past decade, the benefits of this growth have not been shared equitably. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a major economic downturn, reduced business activities and heightened affordability constraints, weakening the financial sustainability of energy, ICT, and water service providers.  For most people of Papua New Guinea, accessing a fair and safe livelihood, high quality education, effective health care and other basic services remains a daily challenge.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Qualifications in finance, record keeping, and/or business administration,
  • Experience training and mentoring staff in financial administration,
  • Experience in financial strategy and operations
  • Cultural sensitivity and willingness to live and work in a remote community,
  • Personal attributes that will be vital include flexibility, patience, and a sense of humour,
  • Willingness to engage their Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role.

How You Will Help

First you must be willing to learn from the local community.

Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations.  During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you.  You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.

You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.

In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and your knowledge can be applied to achieve the following outcomes:

  • By the end of 2025, Kundiawa Diocese will have a complete policies and guidelines on the financial processes that will reflect a sound accounting system to be captured in a published finance manual.
  • By the end of 2025, Kundiawa Diocese will have a finance team that is competent in terms of recording, reporting, analysing, and processing all the financial transactions and activities of the school and can respond to the internal and external queries.
  • By the end of 2025, the finance team will have the capacity to advise the Bishop on strategic finance matters of the school and in the decision-making processes.


Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.