The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is working with the Rotary Clubs of Morialta and Port Moresby and the Papua New Guinea Midwifery Society (PNGMS) to improve maternal and newborn wellbeing in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through training in leadership.

You can read the latest project update here.

Why the program was developed

Maternal and Perinatal outcomes in PNG are amongst the worst in the world and there are currently not enough midwives in PNG. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) currently cited by the National Department of Health is 773 per 100,000 births, making it one of the highest in the world. In comparison, the rate in Australia in 2015 was 6 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.

The PNG Midwifery Society (PNGMS) identified the need for support and development in leadership both within the Society and across midwifery in PNG. There is a recognition across the country that strong midwives and strength in midwifery equates to strong mothers and strong babies.

In the past four years, more than 300 midwives have been educated in the four midwifery schools (accounting for about half of the current midwifery workforce in the whole country). Many of the midwives who have been educated are from the rural areas and are going back to their communities. There is a need to provide professional support through a buddy system to these midwives in order that they remain in their roles and care the women and families in their community. This builds on their capacity and helps to ensure that the investment in this workforce is not wasted.


About the Project
  • Australian and PNG Midwives volunteer their time to participate in the program.
  • Every participant is a member of their respective professional association.
  • Over the 3-year program plan, 6 midwife buddy pairs will be formed and supported in each year.
  • Buddy pairs will receive training and support to build leadership capacity and will be expected to develop and maintain a long-term professional relationship.
  • Each buddy relationship may function differently, but the aim is to provide support and mutual learning to build capacity in leadership skills. The relationship will be mutually beneficial with both participants developing both personally and professionally.
  • At the end of year three, 18 buddy pairs will have been supported!

It is believed that this will provide a critical mass to ensure ongoing success of the program once the Rotary support ends. ACM has committed to sustaining the program in the long term through the continued Tupela Twinning relationship.

How to Support the initative

The Rotary Club of Morialta has secured funding for a three-year program to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes in PNG through the strengthening of midwifery leadership within the PNG Midwifery Society (PNGMS) through training and professional support to PNG midwives so that they can sustain their capacity to continue to provide quality care to women. The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is working with them as well as the Rotary club of Port Moresby and the Papua New Guinea Midwifery Society (PNGMS) to implement that program.

Make a Donation to support the program be clicking here!

This project is aiming to nurture and inspire midwives to be/become strong confident future thinking leaders who provide respectful care to women and ensure an environemnt where women and communities can thrive and become strong and confident mothers and families!

This is very much a community project between midwives and their professional bodies who are supported acoss Australia and PNG by Rotary Morialta and Rotary Port Morseby.