OVER 350 members from the Townsville community gathered in mic-October to raise over A$180,000 (K434,335) to support fundraising for the PNG YWAM Medical Ships at an annual fundraising event entitled “Breakfast by the Sea.”

The YWAM Medical Ship, MV”YWAM PNG”, was docked in Townsville for three months undergoing further renovations before her returns to PNG in October.

Honoured guests that were in attendance at the fundraiser included Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, YWAM Medical Ships PNG Patron and former Prime Minister of PNG, Sir Rabbie Namaliu and Australian Patron, Mike Reynolds.

The Queensland Premier said that she was honoured to support YWAM’s work in PNG alongside other members of the Townsville community.

“I’m quite amazed at the amount of money and the generosity of people’s time that has come from Townsville to support such a worthwhile cause.

“I hope as a state we can continue to forge even closer ties and relationships with people in Papua New Guinea.

“This is such an outstanding project, it makes me incredibly proud to know that such great work is happening in regional pockets of our state to serve PNG,” said Premier Palaszczuk.

The Townsville community has embraced the MV”YWAM PNG” as their own by supplying wharfage, funds and in-kind support for both the vessel and their headquarters located in Townsville’s CBD.

YWAM Medical Ships PNG Patron, tSir Rabbie Namaliu, said that the support that the Townsville community has extended to PNG over the years has been outstanding.

“For the last six years YWAM Medical Ships has been meeting the real needs of village communities in Papua New Guinea; some 100,000 men, women and children have been given medical, dental and optical assistance, assistance that has saved lives, restored sight, and ensured the birth of healthy babies.

“The ongoing and growing support from the Townsville business community and the wider community of Townsville has helped make this possible,” said Sir Rabbie.

Renovations completed onboard the vessel over the last three months include the construction of an improved patient waiting area, a medical re-stock room, a training space for local healthcare workers and the addition of an extended-range patrol tender.

Since the beginning of 2016, YWAM’s medical ships, the MV”Pacific Link” and the MV”YWAM PNG” have treated over 52,000 patients, valued at over K8 million.

Major supporters of YWAM Medical Ships work in PNG includethe PNG National Government, Puma Energy, Australian Aid, Steamships Trading Company, PNG Ports Corporation and Morobe, Milne Bay, Oro, Central and Western  Provincial Governments, Pro-Ma Systems and the Sohe District Development Authority.