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Dr Barry Kirby AO at Lions Australia National Convention in Darwin

Lions Australia 2 mins read

24 May 2024: In PNG, an estimated 700 women per 100,000 live births die during childbirth, compared to just four or five per 100,000 in Australia.


Dr Barry Kirby AO, a former carpenter turned medical doctor, is a transformative force in reducing maternal mortality rates in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Lions Australia is a key supporter of the PNG Birthing Mothers Project and provides “baby bundles” encouraging antenatal care and “bush huts” near medical centres for expectant mothers.


The Project has led to an 80% increase in supervised deliveries and a 75% reduction in maternal deaths.


Lions Clubs promote youth and provide community service, medical research, and disaster relief. Since the first club was formed in Lismore in 1947, Lions Australia has grown to be the largest service club organisation in Australia, with over 25,000 volunteers. Now, Lions Australia has set a goal of 30,000 members by 2030 and 50,000 members by 2050.


Dr Barry Kirby AO is available for interview on the following:

  • How his journey as a life-saving doctor began on a remote road in PNG.
  • Pursuing a medical degree for over 12 years and receiving it at 52.
  • His life-changing work with Lions on the PNG Birthing Mothers Project.




National Volunteer Week — Lions Australia National Convention


Today, Friday 24 May – Sunday 26 May


Darwin Convention Centre


  • Lions Australia CEO Rob Oerlemans
  • Local Darwin volunteers, including members involved with renowned Lions project — Darwin Beer Can Regatta
  • Sunday Keynote 10:30 am — Samoane Regattieri, Indigenous enterprises
  • Sunday Keynote 11:30 am — Sacha King, Founder & Managing Director TWO TWO ONE Mental Health Charity
  • Sunday Keynote 3:30 pm — Dr Barry Kirby AO


For more information on:

Dr Kirby, visit

Lions National Convention, visit


For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview with Dr Kirby, any other Keynote Speaker, or Lions Australia CEO Rob Oerlemans, contact:

Andrew Stewart


M 0432 354 234


About us:

About Lions Australia:
Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion. Lions Australia is Australia’s largest service organisation, with more than 1,300 clubs in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Lions Australia promotes youth, supports medical research, and provides community service, disaster relief, and aid to people with disability.
For more information, please visit

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