Australian Army Medic Private Justin Banks joined the Australian Defence Force to make a difference. What he didn't realise was just how quickly that would occur.
Private Banks had just finished medic school when he was called up to be a part of Australia’s frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m straight out of school and can’t believe I’m already making a difference—COVID has taken everyone by surprise,” Private Banks said.
Private Banks, 23, joined the Army after high school in Penrith, Sydney, and completed his training in Brisbane.
He is now part of a medical team supporting the Victorian Government’s response to COVID-19 in Shepparton.
“I am so proud to be part of the medical team, I have learned so much from every member of Operation COVID-19 Assist; the doctors, the nurses, the other medics who are here with me, and those from the non-medical team,” he said.
“Working in support of the Victorian Government has been an eye opener, and I can see so many opportunities for cooperation.
“I hope to take the skills I have learned during the COVID-19 response to better prepare me for the Bachelor of Paramedic Practice at the University of Tasmania.
“I had to defer my study this semester, but the skills I am learning in these clinics will help me in the long run,” he said.
Private Banks was testing symptomatic patients alongside clinical nurse Lisa Llewellyn who said the pop-up clinic at Mooroopna allowed them to test and respond to operating conditions quickly.
“The Australian Defence Force has been invaluable in setting up and packing down the pop-up clinic and helping us to determine how to work in temporary locations like this,” Ms Llewellyn said.