YWAM Ships LogoImagine living on an isolated island where a health post has been constructed, but is sitting empty waiting to be equipped and furnished. Now imagine being the person responsible for helping to deliver adequate medical equipment and sufficient medication to open that health post!

YWAM Ships Newcastle invites YOU to be a part of this life changing work by sailing a beautiful 37 meter schooner within the gorgeous land of Papua New Guinea!

If you are looking for sea time and/or an opportunity to sail the seas of one of the most stunning, unexplored nations, this is your chance! 

We are a Christian non-profit charity that operates a medical and training vessel, the s/v Ruach, within the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG). We deliver medical and training services to these remote island communities.   

And we need professional marine crew like you to help make this possible!

Captain and crew in the wheelhouse of S/V Ruach
First Mate Gordon and crew in the wheelhouse of S/V Ruach

The nation is facing major health and infrastructure challenges and delivering basic services in Papua New Guinea poses enormous difficulties. The PNG government are doing their best; however, there are more than 1300 islands in PNG and over 600 within the Milne Bay Province alone! Infrastructures are insufficient, especially regarding transport. A ship isn’t just the best way to reach these scattered communities; it’s often the only way.

Through the use of our medical ship we are ready to do what we can to meet this challenge and fight for every individual to have an equal opportunity to receive access to healthcare and education.

We sail to remote islands of the province and, alongside the PNG government and in partnership with the Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority, we assist in the delivery of medical services. We also increase capacity through medical education and marine training.


During our first and exploratory deployment over 2017-2018, we sailed to more than 12 different islands, scouting out the terrain for future outreaches while providing a number of services to the communities. We conducted an educational outreach and began medical outreaches: providing primary health care seminars, delivering medical equipment and even assisting in re-establishing two medical outposts in the most remote islands of the province, Kiriwina and Budibudi.

Crew member Saito Benjamin at work on the deck of S/V Ruach
Crew member Saito Benjamin at work on the deck of S/V Ruach

Saito Benjamin was one of the first Papua New Guineans undergoing our Marine Training Seminar. After his training, he volunteered as crew on board the s/v Ruach, helping the team to communicate with locals, until the ship returned to Australia. He said: “I wanted to know how to handle a sailboat. I’ve been on traditional sailing canoes but I wanted to learn more about sailing. […] Because of the training that I’ve gone through, I gained some skills which made me eligible for a job. [A few months] after I left the Ruach, a local resort took me on as a boat operator and then I got a job as a deckhand on another boat!”

Our second deployment season started this September! We have been able to provide further marine training seminars and commence outreaches by sailing to Samarai Island, organising some more day-sail trainings for local young people and visiting a health centre.

With a full crew, we are able not only to empower more young people like Saito with hands on skills, but also to continue reaching isolated islands with medical professionals and healthcare services!


Qualifications needed:

Captain: Master <35m Near Coastal (prev. Master 4)

1st Mate: Master <24m Near Coastal (prev. Master 5)

Engineer: MED2; MED3 or AEC

Deck Hands: GPH or Yacht Rating

We have urgent needs for each of these positions at various times over the next few months.

Volunteers can come for 3 weeks and up to 3+ months depending on their availability.  


Long-term staff, including the Managing Director and senior program managers, are all self-funded. They raise their own funds outside of the organisation to support the work they do in Australia and PNG and cover their own living and travel expenses. In the same way, we ask volunteers to give their expertise and goodwill with no remuneration.

Cost: $150 AUD per crew per week which covers your food, board, and minimal operational expenses. Please contact us if you have questions about this.

Using the strength of volunteer labour helps ensure a more cost-effective program. It means all our finance and donations are able to go to frontline – such as running of the ship or medical supplies – and that we are in the end, able to provide services to the population.


“We are looking for friends, for people to help us reach our people. We need all the help we can get.” Ashan Numa, Milne Bay Provincial Administrator

To hear more the needs of PNG:

Watch the video that our captain made for fun about our recent outreach!


Would you join us as together, we pursue the goal of healthy villages building a healthy nation?

If you are at all interested, please contact us at: fleetsupport@ywamnow.com or apply online at https://www.ywamshipsnewcastle.org.au/application-form/ 

Thank you for your time and consideration!  We hope to hear from you soon!