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Country Director, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea,



Founded in 1945, Mission Aviation Fellowship International (MAF) is a global Christian organisation bringing help and hope to some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world. Its vision is to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name. Its purpose is to share God’s love through aviation and technology. And its values are embodied in six key words: Impact, Witness, Partnership, Care, Excellence and Stewardship.

Today, an MAF aeroplane takes off or lands every four minutes in countries where flying is not a luxury, but a lifeline. They work with hundreds of missions, churches, local groups, relief and development organisations and national government agencies. Together they deliver practical, medical and spiritual care in places with the deepest human need.

The numbers are staggering… MAF globally now serves 1500+ organisations and operates more than 135 light aircraft to approximately 1500 destinations on five continents. In 2015, MAF International programmes alone flew over 73,700 passengers and 2 million kgs (2,200 tons) of cargo on 60 aircraft, covering more than 4.2 million kilometres (2.6 million miles). In 2015, MAF International had a staff of 545 FTEs and received US$14 million income from partners and individuals for flights and other activities, plus US$20 million in donations from MAF resourcing groups. MAF International also received donated services in the form of seconded staff (valued at US$4 million) and US$1 million of other income.

MAF’s International Headquarters are made up of two support offices – one based in Ashford, UK and the other in Cairns, Australia, with Resourcing Groups based in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Under the direction of an international Board of Directors, MAF is led by CEO Chris Lukkien and an Executive Leadership Team of seven, six of whom have been with the organisation more than 10 years.

Papua New Guinea (PNG), in the southwestern Pacific, encompasses the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (shared with Indonesia) and its offshore islands. It is a country of more than 6.5 million people located just 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the northern coast of Australia at its closest point, and is a country of immense cultural and biological diversity. Ethnically and linguistically, it is the world’s most complex nation, with about 1,000 people groups speaking approximately 830 languages (20% of the world’s total). PNG has several thousand separate communities – many with only a few hundred people – divided by language, customs and tradition.

MAF’s services are critical to the development of these communities and MAF is often the only method of transport for aid agency personnel, government and business leaders as well as church and mission workers.

Key to MAF’s purpose is the spiritual transformation of isolated peoples and they continue to play a vital part in the work of churches and missions as they serve in isolated communities throughout PNG, as MAF flies pastors, Bible college students, mission partners and personnel from all sorts of local Christian organisations.

On the medical and health front, MAF’s work in PNG is often life-
saving. Each year, MAF evacuates 
over 500 sick or injured people 
from remote locations to medical
 centres and carries over 55 tons of medical supplies to remote clinics. Mobile clinic teams are regularly flown to remote villages to carry out immunisation programmes and treat hundreds of families for illnesses ranging from life-threatening diseases to minor infections.

MAF also plays a key role in transporting resources, materials, teachers and students in and out of remote communities, which is vital in sustaining the viability of rural education, and transports communities’ cash crops for sale in larger markets. Income earned from these sales enables purchasing of supplies to improve living standards.

Aircraft are an essential lifeline for the delivery of these critical development needs. Many areas are only accessible by air, and thus highly dependent on a ministry like MAF.

MAF began its work in PNG 65 years ago and it is one of its largest field offices. Strategically located bases in Madang, Wewak, Kiunga, Goroka, Kawito, Rumginae & Kiunga, Tabubil, and Telefominare are connected by a network of flying routes to its headquarters in Mt. Hagen. At the end of December 2015, there were 127 staff members in PNG and operating costs for the programme in 2016 were approximately US$6 million.

As a Christian organisation, MAF staff serving in the field have a clear sense of having been called to the mission and many serve in an environment that has inherent challenges (e.g. climate, security issues, lack of facilities). To ‘survive’ in that kind of context requires a level of adaptability, resilience and independent thinking. The general level of professionalism within the organisation is very high.

Earlier this year, a new Five-Year Strategic Plan was approved by the board and introduced, addressing some of the current opportunities, challenges and realities of the work in PNG. The three strategic aims articulated in this plan are designed to better align the activity and focus of the ministry there:

  • Increasing effectiveness through intentional and strategic partnerships;
  • Improving efficiency to ensure sustainability and increased subsidies; and
  • Increasing staff engagement.

The ideal candidate is a committed Christian who has several years of senior management experience, is comfortable working in a cross-cultural setting, has ‘field’ experience and preferably (but not essentially) an aviation background. Furthermore, the ideal candidate is a personable manager/leader who is familiar with the consultative/persuasive style of management that is required within a mission setting, while at the same time being able to be decisive as needed. And given the implications of the new Five-Year Strategic Plan, experience with change management would be considered to be a real advantage as well. The five phrases that well describe the ideal candidate are:

  • Leader (ability to communicate and implement the future vision of the programme);
  • Change manager (ability to render necessary change as per new strategic plan);
  • Good strategic and analytic skills (ability to focus on the right things);
  • Good influencer and communicator/team builder (ability to take staff along with him/her on the journey);
  • Good business sense (ability to identify ways to improve efficiency within the programme).

Position Profile

Title: Country Director / Programme Manager

Location: Papua New Guinea

Accountability: The Country Director is accountable to the Asia–Pacific Regional Director (located in Cairns, Australia) for achievement of the KPIs and mission of PNG programme. Monthly financial reports, quarterly progress reports, information from the ‘Ministry Effectiveness’ process, safety and financial audits and feedback from staff are the main means of assessing performance.

Role Summary: The Country Director is responsible for achieving MAF’s vision, values and plans as described in the annual ministry plan in the country of operation within the guidelines and directions given by the Regional Director.

Direct Reports: The PNG Country Director provides line management to the senior management team of the programme. Current members of the team are: Ops Director, Crew Training Manager, Ground Ops Manager, Flight Ops Manager, Safety Manager, Maintenance Controller, Maintenance Director, Finance Manager, HR Manager (vacant), Facilities Manager, Admin Manager, and Church & Community Partnership Manager.

: To ensure that MAF’s activities have an impact in places of greatest need by:

  • Developing the Ministry plan and operational plan to guide/give direction to MAF operations in PNG.
  • Constantly evaluating the extent to which MAF’s activities impact spiritual and physical needs in PNG and identifying improvements or alternatives available.
  • Managing and improving the programme’s service delivery to ensure maximum impact, in line with organisational strategy.
  • Communicating a clear and inspirational vision, strategic direction, plans and policies in a way that is meaningful and relevant.
  • Ensuring consistent progress against strategic goals and priorities and ensuring the activities of the PNG Board are administered correctly.

To develop partnerships with service users by:

  • Proactively seeking out and developing partnerships with churches, missions, NGOs and other key customers to understand their current and future needs and developing appropriate solutions.
  • Ensuring that a high standard of customer care and Christian witness is provided to users of all MAF services.
  • Promoting the formation of good and harmonious relationships with host-country officials, local leaders and appropriate government departments.
  • Developing effective collaborative relationships with other mission aviation operators thereby increasing the impact and effectiveness of our mission.

To ensure that programme operations are conducted in a safe and efficient fashion by:

  • Ensuring that all flight operations and maintenance activities are financed and carried out to the standards required by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and MAF.
  • Ensuring safety / quality management systems are in place and functioning.
  • Ensuring programme operational targets and financial budgets are managed effectively.
  • Documenting, implementing and monitoring appropriate internal control systems, authorisations and procedures.
  • Ensuring standards are communicated in an effective way and adherence to policies and standards is monitored.
  • Assessing legal and financial risks and ensuring systems are in place to prevent and detect financial loss and fraud.
  • Ensuring the physical work environment enables staff to give of their best.

To support the effective performance and wellbeing of the MAF team by:

  • Leading, motivating, inspiring, encouraging and developing programme staff to maximise their performance and potential.
  • Overseeing the personal, spiritual and corporate wellbeing of the programme team.
  • Taking firm action in the event of individual or team performance falling below acceptable standards.
  • Assessing and supporting team and individual performance.
  • Promoting a development culture and enabling appropriate training to take place.

To ensure effective and efficient use of resources by:

  • Ensuring the effective and efficient use of physical and financial resources within the programme.
  • Working together with the HR department and/or local labour office to ensure good human resource management systems within the programme.
  • Ensuring that information is sent to resource providers in a timely fashion and to a good standard.

To exercise spiritual leadership by:

  • Setting Christian standards in the working environment and leading by example;
  • Attending corporate daily prayer meetings to hear about the work of MAF and to spend time in prayer and worship with other staff members;
  • Ensuring and encouraging team members to attend corporate prayer meetings;
  • Demonstrating commitment to the Vision, Purpose, Values and Beliefs of MAF;
  • Actively working and living in accordance with the evangelical Christian beliefs of MAF;
  • Maintaining your own Christian spiritual development and relationship with God, e.g. through individual prayer and reflection days.
  • Consulting the PNG Board and MAF International Support Offices, and involving staff and employees in prayer and discussion in order to develop a shared sense of call, vision and strategic direction.

Other reasonable responsibilities as may be required by your line manager.

Education and Qualifications:

  • Aptitude in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning.
  • Excellent spoken and written English.
  • University graduate or equivalent experience.

Job–Related Experience:

  • Either team management experience and/or project management experience involving working with others.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Experience of working in aviation or related field (preferred).
  • Personal experience of working in a developing country (preferred).

Compensation: Please see the full Opportunity & Position Profile for details.

Note: For additional information about Mission Aviation Fellowship International, please visit their website at or the MAF-PNG website at


Country Director, Papua New Guinea