The Project

The project is to promote mental health and prevent mental illnesses through awareness, education and counselling.  Mental Health Services in Kiunga are provided by the network of Callan Services.

Callan Services is the largest provider of services to children and adults with disabilities in Papua New Guinea.  It is a leading disability rights, advocacy and representative Network of and for all people with disability in Papua New Guinea, with a particular focus on inclusive education and training.

As a faith-based national, cross-disability network Callan attempts to respond to the needs of people with all kinds of disability.  Respect, Presence, Compassion and Justice are at the core of Callan’s work, ensuring, that persons with disabilities are equipped to participate socially, academically and economically in their local communities.

The Location

The Callan Light House Office is located in Kiunga, a Port town on the North Fly River District in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.  It is the southernmost terminus of the Kiunga-Tabubil Highway.  Local industry rests on a cornerstone of freight and haulage, particularly from the Ok Tedi Mine and provisioning for the much larger town of Tabubil.  Natural rubber has been an emerging industry more recently, with a processing/manufacturing plan being built in tow.  The population of Kiunga [2021] is 18,747.

Kiunga has reliable 24hour power and with flights to and from Port Moresby on a regular basis.

The Challenge

With a rich and varied culture, PNG is the largest Pacific Island nation and is home to a diverse population of over 9 million people with around 850 languages and more than 76 per cent of the population under the age of 35.   Despite experiencing significant economic growth over the past decade, the benefits of this growth have not been shared equitably. For most Papua New Guineans, accessing a fair and safe livelihood, high quality education, effective health care and other basic services remains a daily challenge.

PNG has one psychiatrist per million people and one registered psychiatric nurse for every 70,000 people.  The bulk of mental health care is provided by general health workers in various types of health care facilities in the community. Traditional healing methods are widely practiced and generally outside of the healthcare system.  Traditional treatments include medicine, spells, rituals and counselling.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Diploma/Certificate in Mental Health and/or qualifications in Psychiatric Nursing/Social Work
  • A caring personality with a thorough understanding of services offered and systems to follow
  • Ability to make sound decisions under pressure and de-escalate crises
  • Excellent interpersonal and listening skills
  • Empathy, tact and patience
  • Keen social perceptiveness; the ability to understand why people react the way they do
  • Critical thinking and complex problem solving skills

How You Will Help

The Palms candidate will work alongside staff to provide community based inclusive development in mental health care.

  • Promote positive mental health through awareness, education and counselling
  • Encourage individuals to develop positive self-esteem
  • Involving families and communities in helping those who are unwell
  • Seek medical advice from practicing psychiatric physician in treatment and rehabilitation when necessary
  • Providing regular follow up through visitation plans at the Centre, home, hospital, prison and through schools.
  • Provide training to different groups of people who work with vulnerable groups of children, youth and adults [Teachers, Nurses, Social Services and Callan Services]


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.


To find out more or to apply, please contact Roger O’Halloran, Executive Director, on 02 9560 5333 or at [email protected].

Feature image: Callan Services Papua New Guinea website

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    I am not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.I am a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.
    * 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.