Guest Speakers

Associate Professor Ruth Stewart

MBBS (Uni Melb 1985), PhD (Flin), FACRRM, DRANZCOG

Associate Professor Ruth Stewart is President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. She brings to this role 29 years of work as a Rural Generalist doctor, with the advanced skills of a GP obstetrician.Ruth now lives on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait where she is currently conducting women’shealth clinics on the outer islands. She is also Associate Professor of Rural Medicine, Director Rural Clinical Training with James Cook University. Her PhD thesis examined the lessons learnt from a Managed Clinical Network of rural maternity services in South West Victoria. This was awarded by Flinders University in 2014. Ruth is deputy chair of the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service board amongst other representative and medico political roles.

Professor John Hall

John Hall is Professor of Primary Care at the University of NSW, Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, a Master of Tropical Health, and Doctor of Philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (RACP) and a Fellow of Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. John Hall has extensive international experience in primary care and rural health at the National, District and Community levels. As Principal Medical Officer, Community Health Services in Vanuatu he was responsible for the day-to-day technical, financial, human resource and infrastructure needs of the Rural and Public Health Programs for the whole country. This involved responsibility for Communicable Diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases, Maternal and Child Health, Health Promotion, and Health Information/Surveillance Systems. From 2006 to 2009 he was the Primary Care/ Public Health expert on the PNG Health Sector SwAP. He has taught courses on Communicable Diseases and Environmental Health in the Diploma of Community Health in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at UPNG and assisted in the delivery of Medical Education Workshop to staff at UPNG. He has worked in Pakistan (1986-1988), South Korea (1981) and the Solomon Islands (1990). He has undertaken consultancy work for AusAID/DFAT, WHO, USAID, ADB and ODA in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Kenya, Congo, and Zimbabwe.

Dr David Mills


I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia doing my medical training at Flinders University and graduating in 1994. My wife and I moved to the Northern Territory after I completed my internship, and ended up staying for 5 years, doing three years of hospital training, particularly in Obstetrics and Anaesthesia. I was fortunate enough to then be employed in Katherine for the completion of my post graduate degree in rural general practice. A 6 week rotation as a student in PNG eventually led to our full time return to Kompiam in Enga Province in 2000 serving a mostly very remote population of somewhere between 40,000-60,000. I have been employed as Medical Superintendent there since that time, working at various times with up to two other doctors, but also unfortunately for long periods on my own. That journey has been shared with Karina, and our 4 children (Natasha, Ashleigh, Chelsea and Nicholas). The experiences in Kompiam have been key in the ideas that led to us setting up PNG’s first training program for rural doctors – the Masters of Medicine (Rural), in collaboration with the University of PNG. This program is now training and placing local doctors all over rural PNG and continues to grow. The PNG Society for Rural and Remote Medicine was formed in 2008 as a collaboration between rurally placed doctors across the country, and is now working in conjunction with overseas partners to foster increased interest and support for rural doctors in PNG.

Dr. Joseph Vilosi

CEO, Arawa General Hospital, North Solomon Province

Dr Vilosi is a rural medical practitioner who has been serving particularly in North Solomon Province for over 30 years. Dr Vilosi (MBBS, DGO) has been instrumental to the ongoing delivery of health services during the 20 year conflict in Bougainville. He went through many challenges including the loss of his private clinic during the Bougainville crisis. Despite this, he worked hard to sustain the momentum of health service delivery both in Buka and Arawa health facilities during the crisis. Today, he remains a champion in the restoration of rural health services through his rural outreach clinics and his central role in the re-establishment of Arawa General Hospital which was also burnt down during the crisis. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer, Physician, Obstetrician and Surgeon at Arawa General Hospital. Dr Vilosi is also an active teacher and continues to accept and train Resident Medical Officers who spend time in Arawa General Hospital as part of their rural placements.

Dr Otto Numan

CEO Lorengau Hospital, Manus

Manus Province is remote and Dr Otto Numan (MBBS, DGO) has been serving the people of Manus Islands for nearly 30 years as an Obstetrician, Surgeon and Physician at the isolated Lorengau Hospital in Manus. Apart from provision of health services in remote Manus, Dr Numan is also a stern advocator for equitable health service delivery for the disadvantaged rural communities. As part of discussions surrounding the asylum seekers settlement on Manus Island, his critical role in improving essential health services in Manus Province was recognized and supported by international donors. In recent years, Dr Numan played a key role in equipping Lorengau Hospital and the provincial heath in Manus through the support package to Manus Province by the government of Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Dr Valerie Archer

Education by NZ Correspondence School to high school level. High School – Dunedin NZ. University – UPNG. 1975 MBBS Worked at PMGH, Kudjip, Mt Hagen and Kapuna Hospitals. Married and moved to NZ 1981 Gained NZ medical registration 1990 NZ Family Medicine training program 1991 Diploma of O & G (Auckland) 1992 FRNZCGP 1998 Worked as GP in NZ ( Auckland & Tauranga) 1993 – 2006 Locum work in Tonga and Pitcairn Island 2006 & 2007 Returned to PNG to work full time at Kapuna 2007 HIV Prescriber training 2009 Basic Surgical Care… Rural & Remote training Kudjip 2011 EmOC …PNG reproductive health training unit. Since then: Superintendent GCS Hospitals of Kapuna (Rural Hospital) and Kikori (District Hospital) in Gulf Province.

Dr Lin Calvert

Education by NZ Correspondence School to high school level. High School – Solway College, Masterton, NZ. University – Otago University, NZ MBChB 1949. Junior Doctor at Middlemore, Greenland and National Womens Hospital in Auckland, Gisborne and Wellington Hospitals. Accepted by LMS 1953 to work in PNG Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Sydney) 1954 Worked together with her husband Peter Calvert at Kapuna Hospital since 1945. OIC Kapuna Hospital and very involved in training of nurse aids, nurses and CHWs.


  • PNG Silver Jubilee award for services to the community 2000
  • OBE 2002
  • Honorary Fellow RANZCOG 2006
  • Life Member of the Medical Society 2009