From L to R: Mr Charles Abel, Mrs Hacy Abel (wife of Charles Abel), Madam Rachael Marape, Mr Ken Mulligan (Managing Director for YWAM Medical Ships – Australia & PNG)


YWAM Medical Ships – Australia & PNG (YWAM MS) announced today that Mrs Rachael Marape, the wife of Honourable James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and Mr Charles Abel, former Deputy Prime Minister of PNG, will serve together as PNG Co-Patrons for the organisation. This announcement comes nearly one year after the passing of the Right Honourable Sir Rabbie Namaliu, who served as YWAM MS PNG Patron for 11 years.

“The value that Sir Rabbie added to our organisation was invaluable,” said YWAM MS Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan OBE, OAM. “He introduced us to several key stakeholders across all political parties at the national and provincial levels, and we look forward to continuing this nonpartisan approach to achieve tangible outcomes with the nation of PNG. Having Mrs Marape and Mr Abel agree to be Patrons at this moment is a new day for engagement in PNG and we are so grateful for their involvement.”

“YWAM Medical Ships has provided over two million community development, medical and training services in PNG since 2010,” said Mrs Marape. “As an advocate for mothers and children in rural communities, I am so happy to be a part of the YWAM team who bring maternal and child health clinics right to these individuals’ doorsteps, just as my mother did as a nurse when she travelled out on clinical patrols.”

Mrs Marape holds a degree in Business Management from the University of Papua New Guinea. She has volunteered as an advocate for the Saving Lives and Spreading Smiles program, initially launched by UNICEF and the PNG Health Department in 2019, serving as the patron for the health of women and children in the nation.

Charles Abel was instrumental in securing funding for the purchase of the MV YWAM PNG in 2014. “I’ve been an advocate of the work of YWAM MS for years,” said Mr Abel. “My heart is for my people, and I am honoured to support Mrs Marape as Co-Patron to see great health and training outcomes continue for PNG.”

Madam Marape and Mr Abel will serve alongside the Australian Patron of YWAM MS, the Honourable Mike Reynolds CBE, AM. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Madam Marape and Mr Abel, united in our shared commitment to providing essential healthcare and training services while nurturing the invaluable partnership between Australia and PNG.

“It is truly inspiring to join forces with such dedicated individuals, and I eagerly anticipate the meaningful impact we will achieve together,” said Hon Reynolds.

The MV YWAM PNG is currently serving in Western Province and has engaged in 14 villages over the past two weeks, with nearly 1,200 patients attending clinics, including a young, first-time mother who gave birth aboard the ship to a healthy baby girl.

YWAM (Youth With A Mission) is a worldwide Christian missions movement operating in 190 nations. YWAM first started an operation in PNG in 1969. Today, there are numerous YWAM initiatives around the country, including in Mt Hagen, Lae, Madang, Yonki, Port Moresby, and more. Through its work, YWAM Medical Ships – Australia & PNG has also influenced other international locations to consider engagement in PNG, including the MY Ruach out of Newcastle, which retired after COVID, and the MV Liberty, which has been undergoing maintenance in Port Moresby for several years, owned and operated by YWAM Ships Kona in Hawaii. Although the YWAM name is shared among these different entities, it is important to note that there is no centralised funding or headquarters and they do not share the same governance, legal, or financial connections.

YWAM MS is proudly supported by Australian Aid, PNG National Government, National Capital District Commission, NCD Provincial Health Authority, NCD Education Services, Department of Education, Sir Brian Bell Foundation, Colgate, Henry Schein Halas, Western PHA, World Vision, PNG Ports Corporation, Ela Motors, Avis, Townsville City Council, Port of Townsville 1300SMILES, Honeycombes Property Development Group, Parkside Group, Pacific Islands International, PVW Partners, Dawson & Associates, Lions Recycle for Sight, Gearbox Solutions, Trukai, Northern Management Group, Mitsubishi Electric, Coutts Redington, Medical Dental Solutions, Pro-Ma Systems, Pacific Marine Group, Universal Cranes, Rotarians Against Malaria, Alcon, Mun Global, Hu-Friedy, Kingdom Air Conditioning, Alphapharm, Septodont, Essilor Vision Foundation, Mocom, Days for Girls, GE Healthcare, 3M, Pacific Towing, Austal, BuzzOff, Wilson Ryan Grose Lawyers, PwC and Mylan.