Elsie Meiki, a midwife serving at Sehulea Village, Duau LLG, Esa’ala District, Milne Bay Province, has dedicated her life to serving the mothers and children of her community. Her passion for her profession and her natural affinity with mothers and children drew her to midwifery.

Elsie’s journey began with a diploma in nursing from St Barnabas School of Nursing, equipping her to serve as a general nurse at the Sehulea Health Centre’s labour ward for six years.

She applied for a Bachelor in Midwifery through the Australia Awards and studied for her degree at Pacific Adventist University. Today, she serves her community as a midwife.

“The most rewarding [thing] about my job is career growth from a general nurse to midwifery,” Elsie says. “I see a lot of value in myself and in what I do. I have a lot of memorable experiences, but one is coming back home to Sehulea and knowing I will contribute to my new profession for my own people.”

As a local, Elsie communicates with her people in their local language, which helps many mothers and families come to the clinic, knowing they have someone they can relate to. However, the hardest thing about being a midwife, according to Elsie, is access to emergency services when they experience complications.

Despite the challenges, Elsie is proud to serve the community and village that raised her. She credits the Australia Awards scholarship for her career growth and development, and the supportive network of people she has met through the scholarship program.

“The leadership courses and reintegration workshops are helpful,” Elsie says. “The PNG-Australia Awards Alumni Association is a supportive network of people. The skills I have attained have helped me formulate clinical research into family planning, and I am looking at conceptualising a maternal outreach for the LLG. It’s all the skills I acquired during the scholarship.”