Social Outreach

International health

St John of God Social Outreach works with a number of Governments and local healthcare providers in the Asia Pacific region to support them to build sustainable programs and capacity building of their healthcare workforces.

Programs are currently being delivered in the Kingdom of Tonga, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

See the 2018 Community Services Impact Report to find out more about the impact of our international health programs. 

Kingdom of Tonga

Our longest standing international health project, the Tonga Twinning Program, started in 1992.

Run by St John of God Ballarat Hospital, in conjunction with the Ballarat West and Nukualofa Rotary Clubs, the program sees caregivers from the hospital and the Kingdom of Tonga’s Vaiola Hospital complete exchange programs on a regular basis. During exchanges, our caregivers provide Tongan health care staff with role-modeling, mentoring and education. We also provide practical support and equipment to Vaiola Hospital.

The Tonga Twinning Program is mutually beneficial to both sites, with the ongoing collaborative relationship between the two locations proving to be the most valuable to patients in both countries.

Papua New Guinea

Celebrating its first birthday at the end of 2018, St John of God Social Outreach established, on behalf of the Brothers of St John of God, the first drop-in centre in the nation for people experiencing mental health issues, located in Madang.

Haus Bung continues to grow and develop, and provides an invaluable service to its members in the Madang community, many of whom are homeless and experience community exclusion.

From 2012-2015, St John of God Social Outreach also supported the Brothers to operate and provide training at the remote primary health clinic Walamu, in the regional district of Nuku.


Through our international health programs, St John of God Health Care is supporting the Timorese government to build healthcare capacity through sustainable, long term development programs.

The Nursing Development Program (NDP) has been delivered since 2010 by St John of God Social Outreach, in partnership with Timor’s Ministry of Health.

 It is aimed at improving the quality of patient care across hospitals in Timor-Leste, centred around the National Referral Hospital in Dili (HNGV). The focus is on building the capacity of Timorese nurses, midwives and healthcare leaders through education and training, leadership and management, and clinical mentoring and support.

Our international health team works with our Timorese partners at HNGV, the Ministry of Health and other key institutions.

The team’s presence on the ground in Timor-Leste, combined with St John of God Health Care’s funding structure and support from regional partners ConocoPhillips, means St John of God Social Outreach is able to create custom programs wherever a need arises.

We partner to embed best practice into everyday healthcare and give workers the skills and confidence to assist them to transform the experience for their patients. This all helps overcome the innate wariness and even fear of hospital care that is prevalent in Timorese culture.

St John of God Social Outreach's Pathology Development Program also ran from 2004 to 2018 in partnership with the Timor Ministry of Health.

See more about our work in Timor-Leste.  

St John of God Health Care’s work in Timor-Leste is proudly supported by: 

ConocoPhillipsBayu Undan logo

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