A memorandum of understanding was recently signed by the CEO of Pacific Yacht Ministries (PYM), Nick Brightman, and the CEO of Torres Strait – Northern Peninsular Health Service District, Christine Giles. This is the first time a non-government agency has signed such an agreement in the Torres Straits.
The agreement is for PYM to “source and provide volunteer doctors or dentists to island communities – especially those involved with border crossings of Papua New Guinea nationals seeking medical or dental care.” Nick Brightman says, “We feel very privileged to be asked to undertake this responsibility. Our experience working among the islanders of Vanuatu since 2002 has helped put us in a position to do this work.”
The agreement is for PYM to "source and provide volunteer doctors or dentists to island communities
PYM first started work in the Torres Straits in March 2009 when their representative joined Pastor Don Fehlberg of ATSIM in his evangelstic program.
As a result of the outreach program a new church was formed on Saibai Island, a fairly large low-lying island only 4 km from the Papua New Guinea mainland. Among the new believers were two local officials who advised PYM on procedures to follow in order to commence their health program. Patrick Chew, a Seventh-day Adventist was working as director of Primary Health Care on Thursday Island at the time, and was able to assist in the development of the Agreement.
In December 2009, James Ward, a registered nurse and ambulance officer— sailed the donated catamaran Inflight up to the Torres Straits from Busselton in West Australia. Mr Ward has been working there since providing health education and assisting mission director Glenn Grey.
PYM is now actively seeking volunteer doctors and dentists who would like to volunteer their services. Go to <www.pym.org.au> for further information.