6% progress
$17,135 still needed

The Challenge

The Archdiocese of Mount Hagen has had a significant influence on building the industrial and economic capacity in Papua New Guinea’s important highland hub. It coordinates projects across education, health, agriculture and pastoral infrastructure. The Archdiocese has identified a need for a qualified plumber to support local apprentices across these infrastructure projects.

With few opportunities for formal training in trades in Papua New Guinea, those working in the sector are often self-taught and learning on the job. This leaves tradespeople in the country with varied skills and knowledge of safe, effective, and sustainable building practices.

Maintaining household and business sanitation is essential to preventing the spread of disease in the highlands. In 2018, Papua New Guinea experienced an outbreak of polio as a consequence of improper sanitation in a rural area. An awareness of the local resources available to build, maintain and use facilities is critical to the successful training of apprentices who will be able to implement their skills and knowledge in support of their community.

How We’re Helping

The Archdiocese of Mount Hagen has requested a licensed plumber to mentor young tradesmen. In February 2020, Palms recruited Cathal Nolan to join the team in Mount Hagen for 2-3 years. In this time, Cathal will work alongside local staff to assist:

  • Building reliable energy infrastructure to help businesses and families generate income;
  • A professional and safe construction and maintenance team;
  • Training of young people to provide them with increased employment opportunities;
  • Increasing contractors’ awareness of environmentally sustainable procedures.


Due to Covid-19, Cathal was repatriated back to Australia earlier this year. He is awaiting to return to the field when it is safe to do so.

Is the Project Sustainable?

The trades apprenticeship program equips young people with tangible skills and long-term employment prospects. The program is well supported by the Archdiocese and engages many young people who will benefit from professional mentoring. It is expected that after the training period with Cathal, this supervision can be continued by those who have been engaged in this program.

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