The Project

St Joseph’s College is a boarding school on the island of Abaiang in Kiribati. The College enables students on the remote island to receive an education within their local community, rather than relocate to the main island and live away from home. St Joseph’s requires a nurse to work with teachers in providing quality health education and care for students.

The nurse will assist in first aid training and clinical support.


The Location

St Joseph’s College (Tabwiroa) is located on Abaiang island, a remote coral atoll off the main island of South Tarawa, with a population of approximately 5,502 people.  Abaiang is the fourth most populated island after South and North Tarawa and Kiritimati and is the home to 5.3% of Kiribati’s population.

Abaiang faces the effects of climate change and a shortage of resources but enjoys a stunningly undisturbed landscape of white coral sand beaches and a lagoon that supports a striking diversity of coral and fish species, providing plentiful seafood to the local population. The school has computer and science labs, and sports facilities including a football field and basketball court. The island relies on transportation by boat and Abaiang Atoll Airport with three weekly flights to South Tarawa.

Note: For most assignments, accommodation is provided by the partner organisation. This accommodation has been assessed and approved by Palms Australia as being secure and has adequate utilities.

The Challenge

Health and poverty are closely interrelated in Kiribati. While health care is free, access is limited, especially on the outer islands. Westernisation of the average Kiribati diet has increased incidences of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, gout, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancers. These diseases are now prevalent in Kiribati.

Diseases relating to poor water quality, sanitation and hygiene are at an all-time high, with more than 35,000 cases annually reported, including diarrhoea, dysentery, conjunctivitis, rotavirus, giardia and fungal infections such as ringworm. Among all this, alcohol and substance abuse is on the rise, signalling a nation-wide urgency for improved access to physical and mental health care and education.

About You

The successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • Qualifications and experience in nursing
  • Experience in nursing in a remote location is not essential but would be highly regarded
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • Willingness to engage their Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role
  • Willingness to work in Kiribati for a minimum of 12 months, with limited resources and facilities.

Prior knowledge of I-Kiribati is not required for this role.

How You Will Help

Young people in Kiribati can only develop and contribute to the nation’s development if they are in good health; mentally and physically well and safe. That’s why Palms Australia has developed a strong relationship with educational institutions in remote islands of Kiribati to provide essential training and support for both students and teachers.

The sharing of health knowledge and skills with students, teachers and the broader community will add to the sustainability of youth health in Kiribati.

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.