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 Newsletter Spring 2018


Dear HealthServe Australia Members, and supporters,

May I offer a brief scriptural reflection From N. T Wright regarding the ‘Day of Rest’; as we head into a very busy time of the year.

An Excerpt from “Simply Jesus…” by Dr Tom Wright

“In the opening of the Bible…when God made the world, he ‘rested’ on the 7th day. This doesn’t just mean that God took a day off. It means that in the previous six days God was making a world — heaven & earth together — for his own use. Like someone building a home, God finished the job & then went in to take up residence, to enjoy what he had built.

Creation was itself a temple, The Temple, the heaven-and-earth structure built for God to live in. And the 7th-day ‘rest’ was therefore a sign pointing forward into successive ages of time, a forward-looking signpost that said that one day, when God’s purposes for creation were accomplished, there would be a moment of ultimate completion, a moment when the work would finally be done, and God, with his people, would take his rest, would enjoy what he had accomplished.

One of the few things that ancient pagans knew about the Jewish people was that, from the pagans’ viewpoint, they had a lazy day once a week. From the Jewish point of view, it wasn’t laziness; it was the chance to celebrate time in a different mode. The Sabbath was the day when human time & God’s time met, when the day-to-day succession of tasks & sorrows was set aside & one entered a different sort of time, celebrating the original Sabbath & looking forward to the ultimate one.

This was the natural moment to celebrate, to worship, to pray, to study God’s law. The Sabbath was the moment during which one sensed the onward movement of history from its first foundations to its ultimate resolution. If the Temple was the space in which God’s sphere & the human sphere met, the Sabbath was the time when God’s time & human time coincided. Sabbath was to time what Temple was to space.

The Sabbath law was not, then, a stupid rule that could now be abolished (though some of the detailed Sabbath regulations, as Jesus pointed out, had led to absurd extremes …e.g. not healing the sick on the Sabbath). It was a signpost whose purpose had now been accomplished. [The Sabbath] was a marker of time pointing forward to the time when time would be fulfilled; and that was now happening…Jesus is a walking, living, breathing Temple. He is also the walking, celebrating, victorious Sabbath…”

And as followers and participants in this tradition, we embody and reflect notions of temple and sabbath that showcase eternity in our world today. We in HSA enact this engagement in the service of better health in strategic relationships and partnerships.

We are soon to launch a new membership drive for our strategically important and eternally valuable; HealthServe Australia. We ask you to be generous with your prayers, with your time and with your money. If you are happy with the ministry of HealthServe Australia, please be generous.

I am hoping you will join us in these partnerships and transform your generosity into improved whole person care of individuals and communities. Let me share with you some recent highlights of our year.

Dr Sharon Darlington led a PRIME team including Foshan, Ronald and myself to Maranatha Christian University in Bandung Indonesia in June 2018. The team taught on Whole Person Care. This training highlights the person and community in their horizontal (current), their longitudinal (historical) and vertical searches for hope, meaning and purpose.  A wide range of over thirty Indonesia medical educators attended. Plans are underway to return and expand these networks in mid-year 2019. Team members will be sought to join the next team/s.

An HSA PRIME (Partnerships in International Medical Education) group of Tony and Trudie Rombola and Melinda Choy attended a General Practitioner training in Hainan, China addressing “rational use of resources” including antibiotics. This was a partnership activity with our colleagues in the Hainan General Practitioners Association. Hainan province is one of the top three sites for general practice medical work in China today.

One of our key activities highlighted in our HealthServe Australia 2019 – 2021 strategic plan is to strengthen our activities in our Partnerships in International Medical Education (PRIME) programs. In 2019 we will be visited by Chinese colleagues and in turn will visit China, East Timor, Indonesia and Vietnam and the UK. We hope to also better equip Australians to teach on Whole Person Care.

We are finding the financial load for running Healthserve is being spread too thinly and relying on the generosity of only a few. A Membership subscription annual payment is an essential way to redress this imbalance and to help members become genuine supporters of the life of HealthServe Australia.

We ask that those who are able to invest, make an annual membership payment to HealthServe Australia of $90 AUD. Details of how you can be part of this community of members will come out in the next few weeks on the Website – and through email.

For those unable to afford this support, they are able to join our community of HealthServe Friends.

Finally, The International Christian Medical and Dental Associations ICMDA Dignity and Right to Health Award is calling for nominations. Nominations close 20th November 2018. Please visit our website for more details about this award. 

Many Blessings,

Michael Burke

EO, Health Serve Australia


Newsletter Autumn 2018

Dear HealthServe Australia friends,

I would like to thank all HealthServe Australia members, friends and team for their great efforts and important partnerships. This is allowing us to make further steps toward our vision of global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high-quality health care for all. 

There has been much activity and many of the office team as well as our partners have participated in various fun runs around the country. There are more opportunities to come. We have so far raised more than $6000 in the last 9 months from fun-runs, for the programs in Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. And we are all fitter and healthier for this activity.

We are delighted with the progress of our Partnerships in International Medical Education (PRIME). These education programs are delivering, coaching and facilitating targeted education to health workers and communities. 
We have received an invitation for Indonesia in June this year. Carolyn Russell and Sharon Darlington will lead this team. We are also continuing to strengthen our Australian-Hainan (China) General Practitioner Support network. Visits to Hainan are planned for August and we hope to have Hainan people visit us again in Sydney later in the year. Les White continues his PRIME Chaplaincy training in Papua New Guinea and in new settings in the Solomon Islands and Vietnam.

I was able to attend PRIME training in the UK in March (yes! the temperature was thirty-three but Fahrenheit and not Celsius) and that white material on the ground was truly snow. Nevertheless, the welcomes were warm and friendships genuine and the learning important and strategic. We may well adapt and use their program models: Whole Person Medicine, The Good Teacher and Compassion Without Burnout, both for sharing with our overseas partners and with our local partners as well.

We are continuing our partnerships in implementing affordable and sustainable solutions to health needs. The Yotkom program in northern Uganda continues to build its capacity and services under the able and committed leadership of Andrew and Anne Wright.  The Tarime Water and Sanitation program in northern Tanzania is underway. St Mark’s Clinic in the Wedweil community of South Sudan is moving ahead. We thank all our partners and supporters as we journey on with these new endeavours.

2018 has produced an opportunity to advocate for improvement in access to health care with our near neighbours. We are delighted to have commenced a special women’s health program in the Pacific Islands – the Pacific Island Cervical Cancer Screening Initiative (PICCSI). Dr Nicola Fitzgerald (Melbourne) and Dr Amanda Hill(Fiji) are undertaking a pilot program in Fiji to develop a program for Cervical Cancer Screening across the Pacific Islands.

We are collaborating with decision makers and stakeholders to implement evidence based practice. The Papua New Guinea Community Health Worker manual program continues with important work from HealthServe Australia’s Gerri Koelma and John Oakley.

We are taking more steps to empower individuals and communities to transform health outcomes for people in resource-poor settings. We are facilitating scholarships for delegates from low income countries to attend the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) World Congress in Hyderabad India in August 2018.

We welcome Nicole Hughes from Melbourne as a new board member. Nicole has much experience in program management. She will greatly strengthen this aspect of our work. We are also most grateful for the leadership of recent added board member, Rachel Gijsbers-Hayman for strengthening our commitment to Child safety standards across all our settings and partnerships.

I see this work in all its various aspects and settings is your work and your ministry in building towards global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high-quality health care for all. This is in keeping with Christian teaching of seeing God’s Kingdom and all born in His image flourish.

If any of our supporters would like to donate to any of our projects please click on this link below and select a project from the bottom of the donations page

May God bless you,

Dr Michael Burke
Executive Officer
HealthServe Australia

HSA VISION – Global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high-quality health care for all. 

HSA MISSION: To empower individuals and communities to transform health outcomes for people in resource poor settings


Dear HealthServe Australia donors, supporters, partners and friends,

A very big thankyou to all our supporters that strengthened our partnership with our friends and partners in overseas settings where health resources are scarce or limited. Our vision is to see global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high quality health care for all. 

Our mission is to empower individuals and communities to transform health outcomes for people in resource poor settings by
1)     Delivering, coaching and facilitating targeted education to health workers and communities 2)     Implementing affordable and sustainable solutions to health needs

3)     Advocating for improvement in access to health care

4)     Collaborating with decision-makers and stakeholders to implement evidence-based practice.

What’s been happening…

Our feature program for the HSA June Appeal was the Northern Ugandan health clinic Yotkom (which means ‘health’ in Acholi). Andrew and Anne Wright, recently recognised for their work by the Australian government by receiving AM awards) have been in partnership with this troubled area of Uganda for more than ten years. We are grateful for the support received which will go towards essential theatre equipment and theatre lighting. See for more news from Andrew.

Also our Community Based Health Program in Buldana, Maharasthra state, India was well supported and James Wei and his team are delighted with this support. This will be an important contribution to their Wheels-for-Life project. This project addresses the issue of patient transport services as distance from health services is a major determinant of the quality of healthcare.

Several new programs are underway and new partners are needed.  A water program in northern Tanzania is underway, a Mental Health training program is growing in eastern Asia and a hospital chaplaincy program is starting in Vietnam.  

Please join with us to make a difference in your world. For more details, see

Calendar for Winter/Spring

There are several important social and education events ahead as follows:

Sunday August 13 City2Surf – HSA is a registered participant organisation and this is a great opportunity for working  on healthy bodies.  To support see front page of

Saturday September 16 HSA Sydney Day Conference – Building the Future 0930 till 1600 at St Andrews Anglican Church, Roseville, $40 – lunch and morning and afternoon tea provided  

Saturday October 14 HSA Melbourne Day Conference – details to follow

October 20 -22 HSA Partnerships in International Education Day Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney.


CEO Healthserve Australia


HSA Autumn Newsletter 2017

Dear HealthServe Australia friends and colleagues,

HealthServe Australia seeks to fulfil your vision and our HSA VISION of global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high quality health care for all. We are delighted to share this partnership with you, our program partners and a Loving God who values justice and mercy (Matt 5:1-14). We aim to develop sustainable health programmes that will improve the total health and wellbeing of communities. HSA aims to help build a community's capacity for meeting its own health needs through partnership with community groups in projects.

You are welcome to join with us in our South Sudan Program Training Doctors, Nurses and Health workers. This is done in partnership with the ICMDA National Institute of Health Sciences, Jonglei, South Sudan. This program needs short term teachers and wise leadership in the midst of difficult and needy circumstances. Dr Owen Lewis from our South Australian team has recently spent one month training and teaching. As the HSA Executive officer, I will visit in early June to join in celebrations for the first student graduation where over sixty students; clinical officers, nurses and nurse midwives will be graduating. There will also be an important planning meeting at that time.

If you have skills in chaplaincy work you would be most welcome to support, join and encourage the work of our Chaplaincy capacity building as part of our Partnerships in International Medical Education (PRIME) work. I can share that Les White continues to provide regular training in Papua New Guinea. New sites for chaplaincy training are emerging in Singapore, Vietnam and the Solomon Islands.

The Yotkom Primary Health Care Project in Kitgum, Northern Uganda continues to build partnerships and strengthen local capacities in this resource poor part of eastern Africa. The first phase of building is complete. A second phase is planned in conjunction with building mobile health team resources.  Dr Andrew Wright and Mrs Anne Wright our programs have recently been honoured by awards of Members of the Order of Australia. The HealthServe Australia family congratulates Andrew and Anne.

Please join with us in supporting our partners via the HSA Easter Wheels-For-Life Appeal. In this campaign we are highlighting the work of a sustainable village health program in Maharasthra state, India; our Community Based Health Project (CBHP).

Partnering with Christian compassion; building local capacity to meet health needs,


Dr Michael Burke EO HSA

On behalf of all in HealthServe Australia



Registered Charity


  • Heart-start Program 2017

  • South Sudan Meetings

  • Yotkom Uganda medical team

  • Fun-run Fundraisers 2017