Recruiting an Administrative Support Officer

Motivation Australia is currently seeking an applicant with book keeping and office assistant training and/or experience, to join our team as an Administrative Support Officer, on a casual basis for up to 8 hours per week, initially for a period of 3 months.

This is rare opportunity to be a part of a committed team, who are improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the region.

Full position description available to download

How to apply
Please email your CV and cover letter to Kate Shortt by midnight on Sunday 1st May 2016 and/or contact Kate Shortt, Office Manager on 08 8556 6703.

AT guidelines in PNG released!

Motivation Australia and the PNG Assembly of Persons with Disabilities (PNG ADP) released the zero draft of the first “National Guidelines on the Provision of Assistive Technology in Papua New Guinea” on April 6th 2016.

Copies were distributed to the PNG Department of Health, Department of Education and Department of Community Development and Religion; as well as key stakeholders involved in the Guidelines development process including the National Orthotic and Prosthetics Service, Callan National Services Network and the Prevention of Blindness Committee.

Cover page of guidelinesEach Government department pledged to begin internal and inter-departmental discussions regarding the process of Government endorsement of these Guidelines. In the meantime, the zero draft was warmly received by Government and Non-Government service providers and Disabled Person’s Organisations as a tool they can begin using immediately to assist in advocating for, planning and implementing better access to Assistive Technology for PNG citizens.

The development of the WATP was funded by the Australian Government through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen project.

For more information about the Guidelines, contact Kylie Mines.

Download a smaller file size version direct from our Resources page.




Read the Guidelines Executive Summary:

“In 2013 the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) acceded the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) [1]. PNG’s accession demonstrates a growing commitment to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities in all aspects of PNG society on an equal basis with others. This commitment includes the recognition that access to appropriate assistive technologies (AT) is a human right.

Access to appropriate AT for girls, boys, women and men with disabilities is a fundamental step in removing participation barriers and “enables persons with disabilities to become productive members of society, thereby enhancing their quality of life, enabling them to enjoy their human rights and live in dignity” [2].

PNG stakeholders strongly state that effective provision of AT in PNG requires:

  • Maximum involvement of the user at every stage of AT service delivery.
  • Policy and guidelines that support and guide practice.
  • Services that reach women, men, girls and boys who need them.
  • Training for local people.
  • Appropriate products.

Improving access to appropriate AT is not a new focus for PNG. PNG stakeholders have been working for many decades to ensure persons with disabilities are equipped with the AT and services that benefit them. However, stakeholders asked for and invested in the development of these Guidelines between 2013 and 2016 so that they would have a tool to support and guide best practice AT service delivery in PNG.

These Guidelines are therefore unique in that they have been written for and by persons with disabilities, disabled persons organisations, service providers, government, civil society and faith based organisations, development partners and the private sector to provide practical guidance and recommendations on how to strengthen: rights based governance, policy and leadership relevant to AT for persons with hearing, mobility and vision impairments; user involvement; equitable AT service systems and service reach; minimum AT training requirements for local personnel; and recommended AT for the PNG context. The content was guided by the technical knowledge and personal experience of PNG citizens as well as international AT guidelines, standards and products that were tested and adapted by PNG people for the PNG context.

It is recognised that strengthening AT services in PNG will take commitment, collaboration, time and investment of everyone in all areas of effective AT provision to ensure that AT is provided through a service system, with trained personnel, who can work with persons with disabilities to provide quality AT that suits their needs, lifestyles and environments.

PNG stakeholders are strongly against donations and handouts that are provided: without consultation with local partners and users; outside the service system; and without the presence of trained personnel. They state that ‘this is not the rights based way!’

Recognising that there are many different types of AT, it was a deliberate choice by stakeholders to focus these Guidelines on a short list of recommended AT required by and benefitting persons with mobility, hearing and vision impairments. It was agreed that these Guidelines needed to start small and evolve over time as knowledge, experience, skills and capacities of all stakeholders grows. It is the intention that these Guidelines will expand in the future to address AT priorities of all persons with disabilities.

These Guidelines are not prescriptive, and rather are designed to assist the practical implementation of existing national policies and plans across several sectors that have a specific focus on improving access to AT services including health, education, community development and the public sector. Implementing and monitoring the Guidelines also present PNG stakeholders with an opportunity to be international leaders; creating evidence about how the rights of persons with disabilities to accessing appropriate AT can be realised in a culturally rich and geographically diverse context like PNG.”

Walking Aid Package Trainer’s Workshop

Walking aids are a commonly used assistive device, however remain in short supply in many low income countries, including PNG. Along with in-sufficient funding for procurement, one of the barriers to their provision is a lack of staff trained to provide them. In-correct provision, and a lack of maintenance and availability of spare parts such as rubber crutch tips can increase the risk of falls, and act as a barrier to mobility, independence and participation.

Cover of walking aids training packageMotivation Australia, in partnership with the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons, recently completed a Walking Aid Training Package (WATP), a resource for national trainers to train community level personnel how to safely and effectively provide walking aids.

The WATP was launched in Port Moresby in April 2016 through a trainer’s workshop for national trainers from Callan Services, the National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service, Cheshire Homes and the Physiotherapy School at the Divine Word University.

Nine trainers, along with an observer from the PNG Assembly of Persons with Disabilities, were introduced to the range of trainer resources and tools available in the WATP, practiced some of the skills associated with safely providing walking aids, and discussed how the WATP will assist them in their work training community level personnel to provide crutches, walking frames, walking sticks and wheeled walkers.

The development of the WATP was funded by the Australian Government through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen project.

For more information about the training package contact Lauren Flaherty

Cyclone Winston Fiji

On Saturday February 20th 2016 the category 5 tropical cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji. Winston would turn out to be one of the most powerful cyclones in recorded history, with winds gusting to 320 km/h. Fiji is a Pacific nation of over 100 inhabited islands, and as news started to filter in from these remote locations, the death toll and reports of damage slowly rose. It became apparent that the north western corner of the island of Viti Levu was severely affected. This populated area includes the major towns of Nadi, Lautoka, Ba and Rakiraki. Motivation Australia have been working in Fiji since 2012. Over the next few months our work with the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) to improve wheelchair and walking aid service provision, needs to reflect the priorities of the Fijians caught in this humanitarian crisis.

We will be supporting the SIA to plan their response to the emergency; follow-up known wheelchair users to check they’re safe and mobile; and meet the need for mobility devices for people who have sustained injuries during the cyclone.

Motivation Australia is fundraising on behalf of the Fiji SIA through MyCause. All donations (from Australian donors contributing over $2.00) are tax deductible and 100% of funds received will be used to support the work of the SIA post Cyclone Winston. Motivation Australia administration and accountability costs are being funded separately by Motivation Australia. Thank you for your support!

Disability and disasters

Reflections by Ray Mines

Everyone is at risk during a natural disaster or emergency, however children and adults with disabilities are often disproportionately affected. Physical damage and disruption to infrastructure, housing, healthcare, power and water supplies, telecommunications, food supplies and transport networks create challenges for everyone involved to meet the basic needs of their families. For people with disabilities (particularly those with major functional difficulties or a high level of dependence) these situations may mean the total breakdown of their usual supports.

During a crisis, people are often displaced from their homes and separated from their possessions. This could mean the Assistive Technology that some people with disabilities are reliant upon may be damaged or lost completely, leaving them unable to move around, see, hear or communicate. Where before the crisis, limited mobility and physical accessibility was a barrier to participating in everyday life; during a crisis it exposes people with disabilities to serious risks, for example: being left behind or abandoned, being unable to escape a collapsing building or being unable to access disaster relief assistance (particularly in remote or rural areas). Early warning or media systems which provide disaster related information are also only effective for people with disabilities if they are accessible to all.

Emergency situations often place extra burdens on household finances, both by disrupting their ability to make income and by causing extra expenses. Normal economic activity may break down completely following a large natural disaster. Households might experience loss of livelihoods through closure of businesses; damage to subsistence crops or injuries to or loss of key income earners. All of this creates increased pressure on household finances. Basic household supplies might also take extra time to acquire and increase dramatically in cost whilst supply chains are disrupted.

Disasters and emergencies cause economic shocks to the whole of society, however people with disabilities in developing countries generally have fewer reserves to draw on in times of need. Fewer have paid employment; there are fewer Government pensions, benefits or support programmes; fewer savings and less disposable income. It is well documented that poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability: poor people are more likely to become disabled, and disabled people are more likely to become poor . Disasters place extra financial pressure on people with disabilities that they can often not afford, worsening their situation and pushing them further into debt or poverty.

States who have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are required to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities during humanitarian crises. Article 11 of the CRPD on Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies states:

States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.

In the Pacific region there are large NGOs well placed and equipped to mount humanitarian response operations. Their focus is on ensuring basic survival in the days and weeks after a disaster. As a development organisation, Motivation Australia is focused on creating long term improvements for people with disabilities in the months and years ahead. Building the capacity of local partner organisations increases their resilience and improves their ability to help meet the needs of people with disabilities during future crises.

Including people with disabilities in disaster preparedness initiatives and the planning of reconstruction and recovery efforts, is an excellent opportunity to identify and reduce people’s vulnerability and increase the effectiveness of disaster response efforts. Post crisis reconstruction creates unique opportunities for Donors and national Governments to make huge leaps forward by making damaged public buildings accessible – an activity which would otherwise take many years.

Motivation Australia is fundraising on behalf of the Fiji SIA through MyCause.

Walking Aids Training Package Complete!

Motivation Australia has completed a Walking Aid Training Package, aimed at increasing safe and effective provision of walking aids by hospital and community based health, rehabilitation and community workers.

The package was developed as part of a broader program to strengthen assistive device provision in Papua New Guinea, and funded by the Australian Government through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen project.

The development process included pilot training sessions in PNG, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji. A huge thank you to our pilot partners in these countries, trainers and participants.

The training package focuses on enabling community personnel to assist people to be as mobile as possible with walking aids that are appropriate for the person and their environment. The training resources were developed to be delivered easily in different contexts. For example, visual aids are either displayed by PPT or on A4 printed cards that can be passed around a small group.

For more information about the training package contact Lauren Flaherty.

Wheelchairs & seating

Motivation Australia uses a range of appropriate adult’s wheelchairs, children’s wheelchairs and seating products in our programmes.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an appropriate wheelchair is one that: “meets the user’s needs and environmental conditions; provides proper fit and postural support; is safe and durable; is available in the country; and can be obtained and maintained and services sustained in the country at the most economical and affordable price”.


For more information about these products contact: Lauren Flaherty.

For sales information for Australia and New Zealand, contact: Kate Shortt.


Prosthetic devices

Motivation Australia is working with our partners in the Pacific Region to identify the most appropriate technology for lower limb amputees.

Through our Samoa Integrated Mobility Device Service project with the Samoan National Health Service, we will utilise International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) materials and components along with various parts from a range of suppliers throughout Asia.



Guiding Assistive Technology in PNG

In partnership with the Papua New Guinea Assembly of Persons with Disabilities (PNG ADP), Motivation Australia is finalising a zero draft of Guidelines on the Provision of Assistive Technology (AT) in PNG.

This project has been led by a PNG Steering Committee and funded by the Australian Government. The Steering Committee is chaired by PNGADP and has representation from PNG Government Departments of Health, Education, and Community Development and Religion; Government and Non-Government Service Providers and Disabled Persons Organisations.

The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide a framework for building PNG AT services, training national personnel, and making quality, appropriate AT more available in PNG. At the request of stakeholders, the Guidelines focus on AT that assists people with mobility, vision and/or hearing impairments; and specifically those devices likely to have the most impact.

The Guidelines have been shaped through a process of consultation with stakeholders from each of the four Regions of PNG involving more than 300 individuals and 50 organisations; as well as relevant international evidence based research and guiding documents.

At the third and final Steering Committee meeting, held in February 2016 in Port Moresby, a final draft of the Guidelines was reviewed and the Steering Committee gave the go ahead for Motivation Australia to complete a zero draft for the Steering Committee to present to stakeholders including the PNG Government by the end of March.

For more information on the Guidelines, please contact Kylie Mines.

Fiji Volunteer: 12 months with AVI

Motivation Australia and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) of Fiji are looking for an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist to work alongside the Mobility Device Service (MDS) team in Suva, Fiji. Your will work to capacity build local personal with the support of Motivation Australia’s clinical and technical team.

This is an Australian Volunteers International funded position, for more details about the assignment or to complete an application form click here.

If you would like to discuss the position further, contact MA’s Senior Clinical Coordinator Lauren Flaherty

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