For Kumuno Cliff, wanting to give back to the community in a tangible way has been a motivating factor for many years – and a key reason why he applied for an Australia Awards In-PNG Scholarship in 2018.

‘Growing up, since primary to secondary school I wanted to be a health worker. I admire health workers. While in secondary school I saw a need for nurses and that’s why I decided to study nursing’, says Kumuno.

Fast forward to today, and Kumuno is clearly on his way to fulfilling his ambition, as a second year student in the Diploma in General Nursing at Lae School of Nursing.  Kumuno is one of three Australia Awards scholars sponsored by Steamships to study this course.

After a first year which focused strongly on theory, Kumuno says he is enjoying the second year’s hands-on elements and applying what he has learned so far.

‘I do some advance procedures that give me experience. Procedures such as injecting and handling tubes and assessing a patient’s mental state,’ he says.

Another highlight has been learning about integrated management of child patients.

‘There are 14 steps to identifying and diagnosing a child. Some of the illnesses that I’ve diagnosed a child with were malnutrition, cough, malaria, pneumonia.

‘I’m progressing well this semester and I am looking forward to doing my semester exams.’

Kumuno sees his future role as a fully qualified nurse who plays a vital role in society. He plans to work in either a hospital or at a rural or regional health centre, where he will be able to implement his skills and provide health care to the community.

‘In rural areas, there are [fewer] doctors. But there are [more] nurses. Nurses provide primary and holistic health care to patients … and even comfort and reassurance.’

Australia Awards partners with Steamships to contribute to improved service delivery in the health sector through the provision of nursing scholarships for study in PNG.  Engagement with the private sector to support Papua New Guinea’s economic growth and human development is a priority for the Australian Government in PNG.

Such engagement forms part of Australia’s enduring partnership with Papua New Guinea and addresses agreed priority development areas.