Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

The Department of Medicine under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Divine Word University (DWU) is looking for a Senior Lecturer/ Lecturer in Rural and General Medicine to improve the quality of the Higher Education Program in their Health Sciences faculty.

Divine Word University is a National University and a leading tertiary institution in PNG. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1996.

Divine Word University (DWU) is a Christian, government-supported ecumenical and coeducational university that is privately administered and open to all. Its primary purpose is to serve national goals. DWU commits itself to developing special programs in response to current and emerging needs of Papua New Guinea. The seven (7) strategic objectives of the DWU Strategic Plan: The Second Decade 2006-2016 (DWU, 2006) are: to enhance the student experience; to promote the quality of distinctive academic programs; to support high quality research and knowledge exchange; to capitalize on opportunities for partnerships; to optimize contributions of staff; to maximize operational effectiveness (structures and systems); and to make the most of our assets.

In response to drastic shortage of doctors in PNG, the university launched a medical program, MBBS in 2016.

The Location

DWU is located in Madang, with a population of about 15,000.  Madang is located on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The town is a popular tourist destination. With hundreds of small islands, it is the paradise for snorkelling, diving and fishing. It has an operating airport as well as road connection with Lae and the highlands. The town has a number of hotels, restaurants, shops and a market with an ample supply of vegetables and tropical fruits. DWU will provide the program participant with secure housing on the main campus.

The Challenge

Papua New Guinea is a geographically challenging country with an estimated population of 8.78 million (2020), which is largely rurally based (80%).  With a critical shortage of health workers, especially specialists it is PNG’s intention to increase the number of medical staff by 30%.  Current health worker estimates  suggest that there are 0.5 physicians per 10,000 population and 5.3 nurses per 10,000 population.

Recruitment of lecturers for higher educational programs is an essential requirement to address the health care shortages in PNG.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Masters level in rural medicine or MBBS
  • Minimum 4-5 years including specialty training
  • Personal attributes that will be vital include flexibility, patience and a sense of humour
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • A willingness to engage your 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 what of your knowledge applies to:

  • Develop teaching materials for the emergency program
  • Deliver effective teaching using evidence-based pedagogical methods
  • Contribute to the capacity building of the staff
  • Provide mentorship to junior medical educators
  • Provide limited clinical service at provincial hospital (optional)

Feature image: Divine Word University Papua New Guinea website

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

    PLEASE NOTE - Successful applicants must be:
    • available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and cannot sponsor visas to attend this course.
    • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand or an Australian or New Zealand permanent resident residing in Australia. (Australian or New Zealand citizens residing overseas may be considered on a case-by-case basis).
    • willing to complete a Police Check and a Working With Children Check before commencement of an assignment.