After saving lives in some of the poorest and most dangerous places on Earth in her civilian job, Flight Lieutenant Tracy Zordan has been at it again – this time, wearing the Australian Flag on her shoulder.

Flight Lieutenant Zordan is a Reserve Nursing Officer with Air Force, serving as a member of Operation Papua New Guinea Assist.

The operation has delivered advice, training, and assistance to the Western and Morobe Provincial Health Authorities and Papua New Guinea Defence Force health staff related to COVID-19 vaccination planning and delivery.

Flight Lieutenant Zordan is no stranger to humanitarian work. She has more than 20 years of experience as a civilian nurse, working in challenging environments such as Sierra Leone, in west Africa, where she assisted at a treatment centre tending to patients infected by the Ebola virus.

Other humanitarian missions have included Bangladesh, Nigeria, Abkhazia, and Georgia.

“Having already worked in virus and disease control in my civilian world, it has made the job [in PNG] a lot smoother,” Flight Lieutenant Zordan said.

“It has been a great experience being able to work overseas with Defence. Opportunities like this are the reason I became a nurse. I’ve learned a lot from the people around me that I can take back into my civilian job.”

In her civilian capacity, Flight Lieutenant Zordan works as a hospital nurse in her hometown of Griffith, NSW.