As part of the ADF's Operation COVID-19 Assist, in Victoria, it has deployed about 200 medical personnel to support the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) COVID-19 testing sites around Melbourne.

Fijian-born Royal Australian Navy Advanced Medical Assistant Able Seaman Mele Buadromo is from the Maritime Operations Health Unit in Sydney.

"Here at the Fawkner testing site, we’re helping support the DHHS with their COVID-19 swab testing as well as some admin work," Able Seaman Buadromo said.

"From the Maritime Operations Health Unit, we are usually on clinical hospital placements, working on a health centre at a base or being part of a resuscitation team on a ship."

Working with the local community provided Able Seaman Buadromo with a new element to her normal ADF role.

"This is very different to the Defence environment," she said. 

"It’s a great experience as a medic because we get to support the wider the community."

Able Seaman Baudromo reflected on the impact of her role for the wider Victorian community.

"Being part of OP COVID-19 Assist is rewarding," she said.

"It can be exhausting each day but for myself it’s a great experience. I’m proud to be in my Navy uniform, showing the community that we’re here for them and helping out as much as we can."