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This January will mark 10 years since I gave up my career and took a bold step into full-time volunteer work with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). 

I was 28 and had been working for a cruise line for 4 years, traveling the world and running the youth programs. I had a great life but there was something missing. As I searched for it, I found it was a purpose, and I found it here in Australia, doing missions. 

There were many questions I had to wrestle through making this step, I’d like to share with you my top three 🙂 

Am I ‘youthy’ enough? 

YWAM is full of young people, lots of 18 and 19-year-olds taking a gap year to do their Discipleship Training School (DTS) which is a 5-6 month course that everyone who wants to get involved in YWAM does. I was 28, and while a traditional DTS allows for students up to the age of 35, I knew that I would probably be the oldest student by quite a few years. 

What I discovered though was that age is not an indicator of maturity or wisdom, I have met some 18-year-olds who are more mature and wise than some 50-year-olds. I have some amazing friends here who are 10+ years younger than me and I don’t realise it half the time. 

Age isn’t the factor, I believe youthfulness is an attitude of the heart, and I will be ‘youthy’ enough for many many years to come! 

What about the Money? 

This was a BIG one for me, prior to the cruise ship I had practiced as a Physiotherapist for 4 years, earning a decent pay check, but had been quite unwise with my money. I ended up in a lot of debt with credit cards, car payments, overdrafts, etc. I was not in a good place. My time on the cruise ship allowed for me to pull myself out of that and get to a financially stable position, it took 4 years of hard work, but I got there. 

The idea of giving up this pay check to live as a full-time volunteer was daunting. For me, the step into YWAM was not just a 5-6 month experience but I knew I wanted a change in my career and this was a long term decision. 

For those unfamiliar with YWAM, no one from the founder to the newest staff member earns a wage. We raise our own funds through our churches, friends, and family. This was an extremely foreign idea to me, talking about my financial situation was something I rarely did, asking someone if they would give me money was unheard of. But this was the world that I felt to step into, so with a deep breath and much courage, I did. 

I was, and still am, blown away by the generosity of others. To be able to say that I haven’t received a pay check for 10 years sounds crazy. It is such a testament to the faithfulness of God and the generosity of people. Whether it’s $10 a month or one off donations, the money is always there when it is needed. 

I have never gone without a meal, a roof over my head, or the things I need. I might not be able to indulge in all the things I did when I was working as a physiotherapist, but my life is rich and I don’t feel like I am missing out in any way.

What about marriage and kids? 

I get asked this quite a bit. I am now 38 and single. People wonder what I would do if I did get married and had children “surely you would have to get a proper job to support them”. I smile to myself as even though I don’t have a family, I have the privilege of watching many of my friends and their families volunteer with YWAM full time. 

I’m hopeful that one day when the time is right, there will be marriage for me. But to be honest with you, I’m still not in a massive hurry. This year I celebrated my 38th birthday hiking through the mountains of Papua New Guinea (PNG) with my DTS outreach team. It was an experience like no other and I love giving my single years to go on adventures like this. 

I love that I can say ‘yes’ to things. I am so content with having the freedom that singleness brings. It allows me to say yes to amazing opportunities and adventures, see hope and life brought to others and put all my energies into what I do. I value this stage of my life and am not in a hurry to see it pass. 

Here’s to the next 10!

10 years ago I was looking for purpose and I have found that here. I lead our January DTS and my most favourite thing about it is seeing people get a true understanding of God, their faith, and their purpose. I love my life, the people I work with and that I get to got to PNG regularly to bring truth and hope to some of the most isolated and remote communities in the world. 

The first 10 years have been full of fun, adventure, challenges, victories, learning, connecting, and growing. Can’t wait to see what the next 10 years hold! 

Helen Middleton

Helen joined us on staff in 2009. She is Australia born but grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands in the UK. Helen is passionate about seeing people understand who they are, discovering their gifts, and finding their purpose. Being active, heading outdoors and enjoying a good read in a hammock are just a few of her favourite things. She enjoys leading DTS’s and has been involved in leading ten so far!

 

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Discipleship Training School - Townsville Campus

Our Discipleship Training School (DTS) gives you the opportunity to set aside five and a half months of your life to grow in your faith while serving the world around you. After 13 weeks of training and discipleship at our campus in Townsville, Australia, we take you on nine weeks of cross-cultural outreach. The DTS is a life-changing experience! 

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship 

Dates
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 October, 2024 - 14 March, 2025
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
  • 19 October, 2025 - 20 March 2026

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Discipleship Training School - Port Moresby Campus, Papua New Guinea

The DTS will run from our satellite campus in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The DTS will include a unique combination of discipleship, hands-on missions experience during both lectures and outreach, and the opportunity to make history as we establish a new campus in Port Moresby for generations to come.

Dates
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025

 

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Introduction to Global Health & Development

Be immersed in a powerful combination of essential basic healthcare knowledge and community development training, with a focus on preventing illness, promoting holistic wellbeing, and empowering communities to develop their strengths.

Townsville Campus

To be announced

Port Moresby Campus
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
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HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

 

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Global Health & Development Gap Year

Our Global Health & Development Gap Year calls those whose heart beats to see communities thriving - physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. The Global Health & Development Gap Year is designed for both those that have experience in the health / community development industry, and for those who are starting out on their journey of healthcare in missions.

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

Dates

26 January - 12 December 2025

 

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Discipleship Bible School

During the course, you will have an opportunity to dig deep into the Bible, reading through all 66 books, gaining an overall perspective of God’s story. You will learn techniques for effective Bible study, and your speakers will help unlock the Bible’s fascinating content.

You will also be taught on topics. For example – you will look at Worldview and Origins as you study through Genesis, Exodus, and Job. Or you might look at Leadership and Worship as you study the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and the Psalms. Each book is filled with insights to be discovered!

Dates

26 January - 27 June 2025

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Introduction to Radio & Media

Good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families, and communities! Our mission is to train and equip effective communicators to share good news and influence positive community growth.

CUA31020 Certificate III in Screen and Media

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All Courses

Our wide range of registered training courses are designed to help equip you for your field of passion.

We combine elements of informal, formal, and non-formal education to not only impart knowledge and skill, but also good character, important life skills, and the motivation to serve and invest into the lives of others.

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Join YWAM Staff

Our volunteer staff team is a diverse mix of different nationalities, ages, skills, giftings, and backgrounds. Their dedication and passion makes what we do possible and we are always looking to expand our team!

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Pathways with YWAM

We have a range of pathways within our training and ministry that allows you to specialise in your area and grow your skillsets. From Hospitality to Global Health you can upskill yourself while impacting those around you

 

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Resources

Joining us for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) or Gap Year with us soon? We have compiled a few resources to help prepare you for the amazing journey that’s ahead!

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For Parents

Do you have a child that is interested in a YWAM DTS or Gap Year? We have created some resources for you as your child navigates their YWAM experience. 

Canvas Online Training

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YWAM Precinct

Our recently developed YWAM Precinct located in Townsville’s CBD is the perfect hub for youth to find belonging and empowerment. A high, medium and low ropes course, brand new cafe, and multi-purpose warehouse space for seminars and other activities allows youth the opportunity to flourish through adventure based learning.

 

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Youth Ambassadors

As a Youth Ambassador you will have the opportunity to lead your peers and the wider community in helping to support the work of YWAM Medical Ships in Papua New Guinea.

 

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Work Experience

We offer the opportunity for students to complete their work experience at our city campus in Townsville. This unique opportunity gives students the ability to not only explore a future career pathway, but also get a taste of working with a local charity that is dedicated to serving the community.

 

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Schools & Youth Leaders

We know that really quality, committed youth workers, teachers and families are some of the best things young people can have in their formative years. Our hope is to make your job a little bit easier by offering adventure based learning, mentoring resources, leadership and training pathways, and service based learning opportunities for youth. 

 

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Transitional Accommodation

YWAM operates a home in Townsville for at-risk youth. YWAM receives tenant referrals from local collaborating youth support organizations.

 

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Vision & Approach

We have the hope to create a safe environment for the youth of Townsville to be, believing everyone has the right to hope for an abundant and healthy life physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. YWAM works in partnership and by invitation through Australia and Papua New Guinea.

 

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School Seminars

Our school seminar programs are designed to empower and motivate youth to live full and productive lives. Book these engaging and interactive seminars to strengthen your young people. 

 

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Youth Adventures

Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!

 

Pre-Register for Impact Summer 2024

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Impact Summer

Make an Impact during your Summer as you engage in epic adventure, learning and serving. 

Gain valuable skills through hands-on learning experiences at The Stable and the new YWAM Precinct, complete with hiropes and rock climbing wall.

 

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VET in Schools

Vocational education is one of the best ways for young people to explore their passions and get equipped. We offer several registered training programs for youth. In addition to all of the expected elements of a training program, our courses have an emphasis on building good character and the soft skills needed to be employable, while also giving students the chance to practice their skills within our organisation. 

 


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Adventure Based Learning
Adventure based learning programs are complete with a high, medium, and low ropes course, cafe, and multi-purpose youth space to run programs with a ‘learn by doing’ and ‘challenge by choice’ philosophy.
 

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Precinct Cafe

Help build healthy lives and communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea while dining at the YWAM Precinct Cafe

YWAM Precinct Cafe is a not-for-profit cafe located at 312 Walker Street in Townsville’s CBD.

 


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Dental Trailer

YWAM Medical Ships is now operating a Dental Trailer in collaboration with key stakeholders in Port Moresby with the purpose of providing dental services, training opportunities, and health education to schools in the National Capital District.

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Small Boat Patrol Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships is collaborating with key stakeholders in the nation by utilising small boats to bring health and training services right to the doorstep of those who need it most. These patrols have a specific focus on empowering the youth of communities to live healthy lives to contribute to a healthy nation.

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Ship Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships - Australia & PNG has been operating medical and training vessels in PNG since 2010.

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Our Footprint

Delivering basic services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) poses enormous challenges with 84 percent of the population living in remote, rural areas.

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Advocate

Join the YWAM Medical Ships team by becoming a Community Ambassador or Youth Ambassador in your local community.

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Apply Now  (Port Moresby Campus)
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Mission Build
Mission Building is a volunteer program that gives you the opportunity to experience life at our campus all while supporting our work in Australia and PNG. Join us for two weeks to three months at a time that suits you!
 
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Youth Adventures
Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!
 

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Townsville City Campus - DTS, Volunteer, Donation
Support our community service projects and youth work in North Queensland by giving a donation to the YWAM Townsville City Campus. The campus also serves as the headquarters for the YWAM Training and Medical Ship, 99.9 Live FM, all training activities, youth work, and a home-base for all of our volunteer staff and students.
  • DTS Fees
  • Volunteer Fees
  • Tax-Deductible Donations
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Donate to support the work in Papua New Guinea
Join us in the vision of building healthy lives and communities for a healthy Papua New Guinea by giving a tax deductible donation that has the power to change lives!
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Ship Outreaches, Dental Trailer Outreaches, and more!

Joining us on outreach in Papua New Guinea soon? We are looking forward to having you! Your volunteer fees can be paid online on this page

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YWAM Medical Ships - Port Moresby Campus

Payments are in Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK) currency. Volunteer payments, donations, and projects in Port Moresby, PNG.

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Support Our Volunteers
All of our staff are full-time, self-funded volunteers, including our Managing Director! Each of our volunteers raise their own financial support outside of the organisation. This includes essential living expenses, outreach costs, and travel expenses.
Our staff include accountants, cooks, administrators, mariners, outreach leaders, medical personnel, trainers, housekeepers, program developers, communications officers, youth workers, and so many more! It truly does take a dedicated and diverse team to make what we do possibl

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Leave A Gift

Leaving a gift to YWAM in your will is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.

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Charity Gift Shop

Join us in the vision of supporting healthy villages in Papua New Guinea by giving a tax-deductible donation that has the power to change lives!