Fainny Bepi’s journey to become a midwife began with a heartbreaking experience. In 2020, she was working as a nurse at Bililo Health Centre on an island off the south coast of Kandrian-Glouster when a mother with an abnormal fetal presentation was brought in.

Fainny was expected to attend to the delivery, but she had no idea what to do. Fortunately, she found an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Manual Guide in the clinic and was able to deliver the baby.

Despite their efforts, the mother died while waiting to be attended to at the nearest district hospital. It was a devastating experience for Fainny, who promised the mother that she would become a midwife. “I wailed and held her in my arms. I felt so desperate and gutted by this loss,” Fainny recalls.

Determined to fulfill her promise, Fainny applied for the Australia Awards Scholarship in 2020 and graduated from the University of Goroka in 2022.

Now, as a qualified midwife, she serves more than 5000 people in the three wards at Bililo. Fainny is grateful for the support she received from her community during her education journey. “It was nice coming back to Bililo, everyone was so invested in my education journey because they have someone serving closer to their community,” she says.

Fainny’s experience has inspired her to provide mentoring for nurses, and every successful procedure she conducts is a tribute to the mother she lost. “I still think of the mother I lost on that day that motivated me to get this degree. Every time I conduct a successful suturing or assist a surgical procedure to deliver babies, I owe those successes to her,” Fainny explains.

Fainny’s story is a testament to the importance of investing in health services in remote communities. “This backstory that led to this qualification demonstrates what the Australia Awards Scholarship is all about,” she says. “Anyone who is moved to change communities and better lives, the scholarship is an opportunity to help us improve health services in remote communities.”