Hela Hospital Partnership delivers local training and job opportunities


In December 2019 Prime Minister Hon. James Marape opened a new kitchen for Tari hospital. The kitchen was funded through the Australian Government’s Incentive Fund and the Oil Search Foundation (OSF).

The hospital’s cooks however, required training in advanced industrial kitchen skills to work in such a high-end and comfortable style of kitchen. 

With the recent graduation of eight local Tari men (four) and women (four), after a 6-month Certificate I in Cookery course, this training need has been well and truly addressed. The local chefs learned to use the newest equipment on the market to prepare nutritious food for patients and staff.

Peuna Papua New Guinea (PNG), a local PNG company provided the hands-on training on how to safely use, clean and maintain the new kitchen equipment. After the training and recent graduation, the eight cooks now have skills that meet international food safety standards.  This training was funded by OSF.

Dr Kintwa, the chief executive officer of Hela Provincial Health Authority said “the cooks who have completed this training should be proud of their achievements and the community should be very pleased also. We now have local people who cannot only use a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen but can contribute towards a speedy patient recovery process by preparing nutritious food.  The hospital staff will also have the energy to provide patients with the best clinical care.”

One of the trainees, Joe Kundu, said he was very proud of his achievement and that “the training was the best he had gone through and gaining experience was a real privilege.” Mrs Indiana Michael said she was grateful to learn what she didn’t know about cookery.

Bernard Philipae from OSF said “From the outset, one of our core objectives for building the new kitchen was to build local capacity. During the construction stage, we used local contractors and built their capacity to win future tenders by delivering quality capital works projects. Now that the kitchen is operational, it’s exciting to take this one step further and train people to provide key services within the hospital, like kitchen and catering services.’

Sean Vincin, Country Manager for Peuna PNG said he’s proud to have worked with the Provincial Health Authority and OSF to deliver the training. ‘It’s exciting to see the progress made by the students. Capacity building for local people is at the heart of Peuna’s business model. Wherever Peuna successfully secures work, we look to partner with local landowner groups and employ and train locals” he said. 

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