ICMDA’s Oceania region, one of the twelve ICMDA regions globally, covers the three larger nations of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, along with 20 smaller sovereign states and dependent territory islands.
It is a vast area covering 88 million square miles of ocean and is dotted with 25,000 islands. However, only Australia and New Zealand have fellowships that are affiliated with ICMDA, in 1975 and 1982 respectively.
There is much opportunity for partnerships and sharing and hence building and strengthening the Kingdom of God in the body, minds and spirits of individuals, communities and nations of the region.
There are 30 medical schools here, serving the region’s 42 million people. The major languages are English, French and the various Polynesian languages.
There is a large Christian presence here, particularly in the smaller islands, reflecting its colonial past, but the Christian influence is being eroded by secularism and nominalism. Migration is occurring on a massive scale, with many Pacific Island ethnicities having a larger population abroad than in their traditional homeland. This places social and economic pressure on the area.
There are very few skilled health professionals in Papua New Guinea, only 6 for every 10,000 people, compared to 143 & 162 for every 10,000 people in New Zealand & Australia respectively. Most of the other major islands have between 20 and 40 health professionals for every 10,000 people.
With a new Regional Secretary, Regional Representative and Associate Executive Officer having starting in 2019, we are seeking to build links with passionate people who are seeking to serve or are already active in the Oceania region within local healthcare Christian fellowships. We want to be encouraged by you and also wanting to encourage you. If you want to learn, share or encourage and be encouraged send an email to email@example.com marking the email for attention ICMDA Oceania.
The ICMDA Oceania Regional Conference will be a recognised part of the CMF NZ Conference in Rotorua, NZ May 15-17, 2019. All are welcome!
Michael Burke has been nurturing and encouraging the growth and incorporation of Saline in Christian doctors, dentists and other health workers practice. Over nine hundred health workers are trained in the Saline Process. Michael is the ICMDA Oceania General Secretary and a keen Cmdfa leader. He is Conjoint Associate Professor in General Practice at Western Sydney University.
Teem-Wing Yip is a globally nomadic, public health physician and GP. She is originally from Hong Kong, did her undergraduate degree in the US, then medical school in Australia. After spending 10 years in Central Australia, she has since worked in India and Singapore. Currently, she is a long-term volunteer in capacity-building in primary health care, at an Australian-funded non-government organisation in Timor Leste.
Hedwin Kadirianto is an Indonesian dentist. He has been involved in student ministry through IFES and CMDF Indonesia. He was assigned for ICMDA South East Asia student and junior graduate ministry, which was then expanded to cover the Oceania region in 2020. He has a particular interest in dental treatments for patients with HIV, as well as promoting equal access to dental treatment access for those patients in Indonesia.
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. No servant is greater than his master.” John 13:15-16
We aim to walk in the footsteps of the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sent his disciples to preach the gospel and heal the sick. (Matthew 9:35 and Luke 9:2)
The VISION of ICMDA is to see a Christian witness through doctors and dentists in every community in every nation.
As an association, our MISSION is to start and strengthen Christian national medical and dental movements through:
• CALLING – Enabling national movements to dialogue within themselves and with each other on relevant issues in their secular or other-faith contexts from a foundation that is biblical and ethical;
• EQUIPPING – Training and building the perspectives, Christian understanding and witness of doctors, dentists and students for leadership;
• FELLOWSHIP – Bringing together members in fellowship at regional, international and other levels to support each other through mutual encouragement, prayer and learning; and
• SERVICE – Initiating and strengthening missions to all, especially to vulnerable communities through partnership among national movements.
The AIMS of the Association are:
• to provide national Christian medical and dental organisations with a regular means of exchange of views, information and experiences in the fields of medicine and dentistry, particularly where these concern Christian faith and ethics;
• to promote, and establish bonds of fellowship, friendship and co-operation among Christian medical and dental men and women throughout the world;
• to examine and test changes in medical and dental thought and action by the principles of the Basis of Membership;
• to disseminate information concerning and to promote discussions of, problems which arise for Christians practicing medicine and dentistry;
• to support the special needs and activities of medical and dental students and junior graduates, thereby emphasising the value of their influence;
• to promote, encourage and support the work of Christian medical and dental missions throughout the world.
The ICMDA LOGO
Our logo is an ever-present reminder of the challenging call to provide compassionate care according to the example of Christ. It is inspired by the passage of scripture in John 13 where Jesus, in humility, washes the feet of his disciples and wipes them dry with the towel. The cross, together with a basin and towel, symbolise sacrificial love for and humble service to all humankind.
Report of ICMDA Summit at St Albans UK October 2019
Every two years, ICMDA holds a summit where the ICMDA CEO, Board Chairman, Regional Secretaries, Students and Junior Doctors Representatives, SJGEOs, Regional Representatives and Area Representatives come together for a week of prayers, devotion and update on ICMDA work in different regions of the world and strategising together for the next two years until the next summit. The last summit was in the US in 2017 (Bristol, Tennessee). Last year’s summit was the first summit with Dr Peter Saunders as the new ICMDA CEO. The ICMDA summit last year took place from 6-11 October in the city of St Albans in the UK.
Thirty representatives from twenty six countries attended the summit. From our Oceania region, the Regional Secretary Assoc Professor Michael Burke attended the summit and represented the region.
We reviewed the vision and mission of ICMDA. We strengthened our relational basis for gospel ministry, and talked, explored and prayed about how to support Christian Health workers in their aim of being a Christian witness in every community in every nation. We explored our past, our present opportunities and challenges, and the way forward.
Partnerships were seen as a key strategy, working with Saline, PRIME, IFES, NCF and HCFI. We also want to make better use of electronic resources to build relationships and encourage each other.
ICMDA has launched its new website https://icmda.net/
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)