Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Julie Bishop, announced today that $2 million AUD has been granted to North Queensland-based organisation, YWAM Medical Ships – Australia (YWAM MSA) over the next four years from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) budget.
The funds will be utilised for YWAM’s new Training and Medical Ship operations in the Gulf and Western Provinces.
The new vessel, the MV YWAM PNG was purchased December last year following a five-month fundraising and awareness campaign in Australia and PNG.
Managing Director for YWAM MSA, Ken Mulligan, said that he was thrilled with the announcement.
“Australia has a long history with PNG – it is wonderful to be a part of strengthening this important relationship. The funding from DFAT will assist us greatly as we expand our operations with our new vessel – we are incredibly grateful.”
Federal Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones, said that he was delighted to stand with Honourable Julie Bishop today as she made the announcement.
“YWAM Medical Ships is staffed completely by volunteers – I know the funds will be put to good use – delivering essential healthcare to vulnerable, isolated communities just off our coast.”
“North Queensland should be very proud to have YWAM Medical Ships based in our region – this is an organisation made up of people who have invested a lot in volunteer hours and personal sacrifice who are doing a tremendous work alongside our friends in Papua New Guinea,” said Mr Jones.
The MV YWAM PNG will be making its maiden voyage to PNG at the end of next week for an initial 9-week deployment in the Southern Region before returning to Australia in July for further renovations which will include the construction of a dentistry clinic, operating theatre, laboratory and the addition of two patrol tenders to reach remote areas.