The Project

The Department of Medicine under the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Divine Word University (DWU) is requesting Healthcare Lecturers specialising in Midwifery, Paediatrics, Neonatal Care, Acute Care, Theatre, Geriatrics and Orthopaedics to improve the quality of the Higher Education Program in their Health Sciences faculty.

The Location

Established in 1996, Divine Word University is a National University and leading tertiary institution in Papua New Guinea, comprised of five faculties (Arts, Business/Informatics, Health Sciences, Education, Theology). Students come from all 20 provinces of PNG to study at this ecumenical, coeducational, privately governed with government support University. DWU has a special interest in advancing opportunities for disadvantaged individuals, women and youth to help build the economic and social capacity of the South Pacific Region. These particular positions will be located on the Madang Campus with the Health Sciences faculty.

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

DWU has requested Healthcare Specialists with Masters or PhD level, in Midwifery, Paediatrics, Neonatal Care, Acute Care, Theatre, Geriatrics and Orthopaedics. Preferably, the candidate will have some teaching experience in the field and be adaptable and open to working in a multicultural context.  The candidate is expected to work for a minimum of one academic year teaching healthcare students and two years will be preferable.

The Program Participant must demonstrate a 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.

So questions to enable your learning from your hosts, not suggestions in ignorance of how things can improve. You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from you own cultural lens to outline what is missing.   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:

  • Evaluating the current teaching program and how it aligns with international standards;
  • Providing recommendations, in collaboration with local staff, for strategies to improve the training program as it relates to Midwifery, Paediatrics, Neonatal Care, Acute Care, Theatre, Geriatrics and Orthopaedics ;
  • Teaching students enrolled in health science to provide the highest standard of patient care; and
  • Supporting the teaching department to develop a sustainable curriculum


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, please contact Lalena Graham, Programs & Placement Coordinator on 02 9560 5333 or at [email protected].

Feature image: Divine Word University 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.