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In 2013, Bray, an active 17 year old, lost his sight in both eyes. His brother, Dura said, “At first we didn’t believe him, we joked that he paddled his canoe like an inland man – bumping into bushes on the river bank!”

Bray’s sight was limited to light and dark shades. The once capable fisherman, soccer player and student dropped out of school and other activities he loved. Bray’s existence was confined to familiar surroundings as he depended on family to lead him around the village, help him eat and help him dress.
When Bray first lost his sight, his family took him to their closest hospital in Oro Bay and asked if anything could be done for his eyesight. The glimmer of hope that Bray and his family was given, was that soon the YWAM Medical Ship would be visiting Oro Province, and on board there will be eye specialists that may be able to help Bray regain his sight.  

“We waited and prayed for the ship to come for three years. We knew that the ship coming to our village might help Bray get his sight back,” said Dura.   

The waiting ceased last month when the MV YWAM PNG dropped anchor in Oro Province. Working in collaboration with Oro Provincial Health, YWAM Medical Ships’ primary health care, optometry, dentistry, and community engagement teams visited 21 villages along the Oro coast. One of the villages visited by the optometry team was Bray’s village, Emo.

Bray waited in line with Dura for a few hours before he was seen by Fred Hollows ophthalmic registrar, Theresa Gende, who had teamed up with YWAM’s eye team. Theresa found that Bray had cataracts in both eyes, an opacity of the lens of the eye that sits just behind the pupil. But there was a hope – Bray was a surgical candidate.

Bray and Dura visited the MV YWAM PNG the following week for a consult with YWAM’s ophthalmology team.

Dr Bill Talbot, an Ophthalmologist from Townsville, volunteering onboard the MV YWAM PNG, saw Bray for his initial assessment prior to performing the surgery.

Dr Talbot said, “The cataracts obscured the back of his eyes which could mask additional causes of poor vision.”

“This presentation was something myself and other specialists onboard had sadly seen in other young cataract patients in PNG, so my team and I were not at all certain how successful the surgery would be.  We didn’t want to hold out false hope for Bray but on the other hand, were desperate to try.”

“My heart went out to Bray – to lose sight so young is heartbreaking. His blindness not only impacted his life, but his entire family, particularly his primary carer, brother Dura,” said Dr Talbot.

On 7 June Bray went into surgery for cataract removal with a lens implant, a procedure which took 40 minutes.

Bray and his brother returned the next day for their moment of truth. YWAM Medical Ships’ Ophthalmology Clinic Leader, RN Ella Bouman, gently peeled away the patch and wiped his eye. A  sheepish smile emerged from Bray’s face when Ella asked if he could see. She held up her hand for a high five – he high fived her back!

Dura came over to Bray to see the result, as Dura bent down in front of him, a smile erupted from Bray’s face. Dura put his hand on his cheek and spoke to him in their language, they smiled together and shared a moment of joy – Bray’s sight had returned.

Dura said, “This was such a special gift to us. I can’t wait to bring him home to see the rest of the family after so long. I think they will be so surprised and will cry!”

Dr Talbot, thrilled with the results of the operation said, “the result was fantastic and an absolute joy to see. Within less than 24 hours, Bray went from being blind in both eyes and heavily dependent on others to being able to see again. Now he is a totally different person to the nervous young man guided into our clinic on day one.”

“We so easily forget how much our lives rely on vision until we meet someone who has lost it. Bray has a whole new life in front of him now,” said Dr Talbot.

A second operation was performed on his other eye a few days later, improving his vision even more.

“It’s such a joy to witness his recovery and to see him interacting with others and engaging with life onboard the ship. I challenged Bray to a game of Jenga three days after surgery!”

“Bray’s successful surgery is the result of an incredible team effort – the volunteers, national and provincial governments, local health workers, and donors have all played their part in this miracle – we rejoice in the outcome, and remain encouraged to keep going,” said Dr Talbot.

Bray is looking forward to returning to school, playing soccer and touch football, and watching the State of Origin for the first time in years.

At 17 years-old, Bray is a picture of hope and longing fulfilled. The light and sparkle in his face illuminates YWAM Medical Ships motto, “I want to live”.  

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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
  • 17 July - 16 December, 2022
  • 9 October, 2022 - 10 March, 2023
  • 29 January - 30 June, 2023
  • 16 July - 15 December, 2023
  • 22 October, 2023 - 22 March, 2024

 

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Discipleship Training School - Port Moresby Campus, Papua New Guinea

The DTS will run from our new 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
  • 29 January - 30 June, 2023

 

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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. 

 


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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

17 July 2022 - 30 June 2023 (Townsville Campus only)

 

 

Apply Now

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Media & Radio Gap Year

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 change. 

Our Media & Radio Gap Year program is designed to help you grow in your faith while sharpening your skills in the creative arts industry. You will have the opportunity to put your skills into action both on the field and in an office environment.

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship

CUA31020 - Certificate III in Screen and Media

Dates

to be announced

 


    Apply Now

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    Volunteer

    Whether you are an experienced health professional, a university student, an enthusiastic young person, or a skilled mariner, we invite you to consider volunteering aboard the MV YWAM PNG in Papua New Guinea!

    Apply Now

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    Advocate

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

    Take a Tour

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    The Ship

    The MV YWAM PNG is equipped with a dental clinic, day procedure unit, laboratory, four patrol tenders, and accommodation for 130+ volunteers. 

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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.

    See Location

    Ship Locator

     

    View the current location of the MV YWAM PNG!

    See annual reports

    Annual Reports

    Read or download our annual reports. 


    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!

    Townsville Campus
     Port Moresby Campus
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    Communication

    Good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families, and communities! Our mission is to help mobilise effective communicators to share good news and influence change. Our communication pathways are tailored to suit your level of experience and the time you are willing to invest.

     

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    Global Health

    Our global health pathways include options for both experienced healthcare professionals, and those who are looking to be trained. Whether you are supporting logistics or in the thick of treating patients in a remote village, you can be assured that you will play a vital part in helping to build healthy lives, communities, and nations!

     

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    Hospitality

    Hospitality is a powerful gift that helps build community and shows care for the individual. Our hospitality pathways are designed to help equip you to deliver various aspects of hospitality with excellence.

     

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    Events

    Events have the power to strengthen hope and build community. Our events pathways will equip you to create unique events with excellence and a bit of pizazz!

     

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    Training

    Training is the key to multiplication! Our training pathways are about equipping others with the skills, knowledge, and character they need to serve communities.

     


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    Youth Precinct

    We recently acquired a facility in Townsville's CBD for the purpose of establishing a vibrant youth precinct. The property includes a 32 bedroom residential facility, a large warehouse, and a substantial outdoor space, all just half a block from the YWAM Townsville City Campus.

     

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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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    School Seminar Program

    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. 

     

    Apply Now

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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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    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.

     


    Apply Now

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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. 

    Apply Townsville

    Apply Port Moresby

     

    Discipleship Training School

    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. You will also have the option of choosing an elective, giving you the opportunity to explore your passions and calling. The DTS is a life-changing experience! 

    10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship 

     

    Townsville Campus
    • 17 July - 16 December, 2022
    •  9 October, 2023 - 10 March, 2023
    • 29 January - 30 June, 2023
    • 26 July - 15 December, 2023
    • 22 October, 2022 - 22 March, 2024
    Port Moresby Campus
    • 29 January - 30 June, 2023
    Learn More Learn More

     

    Apply Townsville

    Apply Port Moresby

    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

     

    Port Moresby Campus
    • 17 July - 16 December, 2022
    • 16 July - 15 December, 2023
    Learn More
    Learn More

    HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

    HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

    HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

    HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

     

    Apply Townsville

    Apply Port Moresby

    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 a series of speakers will help unlock the Bible’s fascinating content.

     

     
    Townsville Campus

    To be announced

     
    Port Moresby Campus

    To be announced

    Learn More
    Learn More

     

    Apply Now

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    Leadership Training Seminar

    Are you a current YWAM staff member who is looking to grow in leadership?

    The Leadership Training Seminar (LTS) is a five week seminar designed  for both emerging leaders who are hungry to grow, and seasoned leaders who are needing a time of renewal and encouragement. 

    Port Moresby Campus

    23 August - 23 September 2022

     

    Apply Now

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    Purpose & Leadership Development

    An internship with a difference! This is a two year, hands on course that trains you in the core aspects of being a full-time volunteer with YWAM anywhere in the world. The skills and knowledge you will gain during the two years apply to much more than just the missions context, they can be transferred to your next job, ministry opportunity, or further study. 

    10899NAT Certificate IV in Christian Missions

    Apply Now

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    Advanced Leadership Development

    The Advanced Leadership Development  is a hands-on, two-year course that gives you the opportunity to develop your understanding of leadership from a Biblical perspective. The training includes a combination of classroom-style learning, practical application, and mentoring. 

    10944NAT Diploma of Christian Missions Leadership

     

    Apply Now

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    Certificate III in Business

    This course is a great introduction into the business world. Your learning will give you a broad set of skills including financial administration, document production, workplace organisation, and customer service. The course includes a combination of online study and volunteer work experience at the YWAM Townsville City Campus, allowing you to gain real ‘on the job’ experience within the context of a charitable service. 

    BSB30120 Certificate III in Business

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    Certificate III in Events

    Our mission is to train and empower event coordinators who can facilitate excellent events that inspire and promote celebration. This course will provide a pathway for you to work for event or exhibition organisers in a range of industries. These include the tourism, travel, hospitality, sport, cultural, and community sectors. 

    SIT30516 Certificate III in Events

    Apply Now

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    Certificate III in Hospitality

    At the heart of our hospitality training is the desire to impart to students how excellent hospitality can express a sense of peace, value, and belonging. A Certificate III in Hospitality provides a pathway to work in restaurants, hotels, cafés, and coffee shops. 

    SIT30616 Certificate III in Hospitality

    Apply Now

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    Introduction to Radio & Media

    Introduction to Radio & Media will equip you as a radio announcer, podcaster, or audio producer. As part of your training, you will be working at 99.9 Live FM where we are announcing to over 26,000 listeners in North Queensland with the message “It's Good to Be Alive.” 

    CUA31020 Certificate III in Screen and Media

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    Certificate I in  Construction

    Construction is an integral part of building infrastructure and stronger communities. A Certificate I in Construction is a great introduction into the construction industry. This course will equip you with the basic skills and knowledge for the use of construction tools and materials, interpreting and reading plans, taking measurements and making calculations. 

    CPC10111 Certificate I in Construction

    Apply Now

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    Provide First Aid

    During this course you will be equipped with the skills to respond and provide first aid for accidents and injuries, provide life support, provide CPR and manage a casualty’s condition until further help or assistance is available. Your training will be a combination of theory and practical hands-on experience to equip you to assist others in need.

    HLTAID011 Provide First Aid

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    Our Training Approach

    Our vocational training is designed for those who are seeking not only a qualification, but also an opportunity to use their vocation to serve others. 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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    Volunteer

    Looking for an opportunity to serve while meeting new people and experiencing a new culture? We have a range of dynamic volunteering opportunities in both Australia and Papua New Guinea for both groups and individuals of all ages.

     

    Apply Now                          (Townsville Campus)

    Apply Now                                      (Port Moresby Campus)

    Learn More

    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!

     

    Apply Now

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    Medical Ship

    Whether you are an experienced health professional, university student, enthusiastic young person, or skilled mariner, we invite you to consider volunteering aboard the MV YWAM PNG in Papua New Guinea!

     

    Apply Now

    Learn More

    Discipleship Training School

    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. You will also have the option of choosing an elective, giving you the opportunity to explore your passions and calling. The DTS is a life-changing experience!

    10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship 

    Townsville Campus
    • 30 January - 1 July, 2022
    • 17 July - 16 December, 2022
    Port Moresby Campus
    • 23 January - 2 July, 2022

     

    Apply Now

    Learn More

    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!