Macdeel Kai thinks the best thing about being a midwife, “is being the first to be there for women who are about to bring forth a new life, and the first to share the joy and happiness with the women”.

Macdeel almost didn’t become a midwife although she knew she wanted to work in health. She studied a Bachelor of Education at the University of Goroka for six weeks before being accepted at Lae School of Nursing where her mother urged her to transfer. She began her career in the maternity ward at the Port Moresby General Hospital just one month after graduating, focusing on post-natal patients for almost three years.

“I am so blessed and thankful to my mum because I don’t regret anything about  being a nurse. My mum knew the best for me.” Macdeel gives her late mother credit for her successful career and says it was her discipline, optimism and tireless commitment as a health worker that made her own “career bright” and helped her to become the person she is today. “She was very influential in my upbringing, throughout my education and my career. I admired her for the strength and resilience she had in her personal and professional career and throughout her life”, she states.

While Macdeel says she loved working in the maternity ward as a nurse, she wanted to understand the challenges women face and to learn more to be able to deliver optimal care. She completed a Bachelor of Midwifery through Australia Awards PNG and now has the added skills and confidence she needs to make a difference. Macdeel says the most rewarding part of her job is intervening when women and babies have complications before, during and after birth and seeing them leave the hospital happy and well.

“The Australia Awards was the best thing that had ever happened to me. It provided me support towards my study, financially, my welfare and safety,” she says.

‘An Australia Awards scholarship is the greatest opportunity available to all Papua New Guineans who are seeking financial support for study purposes. The support is extremely good as it comes in a full package and I urge all Papua New Guineans who think that they’ve met the [selection] criteria to apply.”