Good health and well-being are absolutely vital for everyone to function at their very best in everyday life. Just like the rest of the general population working in cities and regional areas, Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel also require healthcare services. Medibank’s Garrison Health Services (GHS) exists to do just that.
GHS provides seamless access to quality healthcare to the 60 000+ permanent and 20 000+ reservists uniformed ADF personnel—from point of injury or illness to recovery. One of the GHS healthcare experts who has the opportunity to provide assistance to the ADF is Peter Blackwell, a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife.
“I’ve been working for Medibank’s Garrison Health Services at HMAS Cerberus since November 2016 in the Casualty and Outpatients departments. On top of this, I’m also involved in various blood and vaccinations parades held during the year, particularly with recruits.”
He entered the health industry in 1977, and at the same time joined the Navy Reserve as a musician. He also spent some time on HMAS Melbourne, a majestic class aircraft carrier, which was decommissioned in the 1980s.
Peter has extensive experience in the field including being the first male midwifery student at Monash Medical Centre in 1988. He has solid nursing foundation having spent 25 years working in the emergency department at various hospitals. For a couple of years, Peter gained more nursing experience while working and travelling around Australia.
“It was an adventure. My wife and I decided to buy a caravan and go on a family exploration. We packed up the kids and travelled and worked our way around the country for two years, it was an amazing experience.”
In addition to working in hospitals, Peter worked in a flood evacuation team, for which he was awarded the National Emergency Medal by the Governor of Queensland.
“I worked as a flight nurse with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland for eight years. I was also involved in the evacuation of patients in the 2010-2011 floods with Cyclone Yasi and when Bundaberg was inundated. I’m just glad I could help.”
He says he is proud to be a part of GHS as he can see the impact it has on the ADF.
“We provide a world-class healthcare service to ADF personnel. Not only that, there is flexibility, which allows employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance.”
“I really love what I do. I feel I make a difference to my colleagues and patients by remaining positive. My career in nursing has taught me that although there are difficult times in life, they are far outweighed by the good times.”