International Women's Day 2024 - Debbie Mako
Updates / Community, 8 Mar 24
Debbie Mako, a physiotherapist from Papua New Guinea, serves as a source of inspiration for young women aspiring to join the healthcare field.

Reflecting on her role in the healthcare industry, Ms Mako emphasizes the importance of collaboration and patient care. 

"Being a woman in an industry means working alongside male colleagues to achieve organisational objectives. In a hospital setting, what I love and enjoy as a woman is the inter-professional collaboration amongst both the male and female health professionals, all striving to achieve excellence in patient care." 

Despite the challenges that women often face in their careers, Ms Mako acknowledges the support she has received throughout her journey. 

"Throughout my career, personally I haven’t experienced any issues relating to male colleagues’ interest being prioritised over my interest." 

 "I have a very supportive employer who is fully aware of what female health professionals can bring to the table, and they have been supportive towards my professional development."  

Offering advice to young women aspiring to join the healthcare sector, Ms Mako stresses the importance of passion, self-belief, continuous learning, mentorship, and self-care. 

"Pursuing a career pathway in the health sector is a choice young women will never regret, if they’re passionate about humanitarian service. Remember, your contributions to healthcare are invaluable, and the world needs your expertise and compassion." 

If she could possess a superpower, Ms Mako's choice reflects her dedication to healing and alleviating suffering. 

"If I had the superpower to heal all diseases, I would use it to alleviate all suffering and pain from physical ailments and disorders." 

A career highlight for Ms Mako was her involvement in the formation of a stroke working committee in the national referral hospital of Papua New Guinea. 

"My career highlight was participating in the formation of a stroke working committee in the national referral hospital of Papua New Guinea-Port Moresby General Hospital, and now working towards achieving improved stroke services in my country," she shares proudly. 

Reflecting on life lessons, Ms Mako highlights the importance of selflessness and meaningful contribution. 

"As a health professional, life taught me how to be genuinely selfless towards the service of others." 

Ms Mako ends with a powerful Maya Angelou quote, summarizing her patient care approach. 

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."