Just shy of a year since joining the Air Force, Flight Lieutenant Tramaine Dukes donated blood for the first time.

Indigenous Liaison Officer and proud Mara woman from Wadjuk Noongar country, near Perth, made her donation as part of this year’s Defence Blood Challenge. 

Driven by her passion to help others, she overcame her fear of needles and joined the effort to beat Air Force’s 2019 tally of 2329 donations.

“I have always wanted to give blood and it’s quite a quick and simple thing to do that ultimately helps others in need,” Flight Lieutenant Dukes said.

“I just missed the Defence Blood Challenge last year, but knowing that this is an annual event gave me plenty of time to work up the courage to donate this year.”

Flight Lieutenant Dukes is no stranger to giving to others. She fosters dogs, she has helped raise more than $55,000 for the White Ribbon Foundation and she supports her mob and her people on a daily basis. 

“Now I can say that I also help save lives by donating blood,” she said. 

“I believe that kindness doesn’t have to be one grand gesture but many small, frequent acts of kindness that add up and help make the world a better place.”

Flight Lieutenant Dukes said she had advice for people who were scared of needles. 

“Just do it! If you fear needles like me, just look away and get on with it. With a small gesture, everyone can help make a huge difference,” she said. 

This year, Air Force will again go head-to-head with ADF and APS counterparts to help Defence reach its total target of 9500 donations.

Apart from helping the Australian community, blood supplies are critical to Defence personnel on operations, exercises and to all members of the Defence community in their daily lives.

All Air Force personnel and their families are encouraged to donate, which can be done multiple times during this year’s challenge. 

Red Cross Lifeblood Donor Centres are open across Australia and the Lifeblood Mobile Donor Vans are visiting Defence establishments during the challenge. 

To book your appointment, call Australian Red Cross Lifeblood on 13 14 95 or visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/lifeblood-teams to see when and where you can donate.

The Defence Blood Challenge will run until December 8.