Seaman Alexis Tavener describes supporting NSW Health at vaccination pop-up clinics in western NSW as an incredible experience.
CAPTION: Seaman Alexis Tavener and Leading Seaman Katrina Bougiouras prepare Covid-19 vaccinations at the Orange Vaccination Hub while deployed on NSW Operation COVID-19 Assist. Story by Lieutenant Brendan Trembath. Photo by Corporal Dustin Anderson.
The Australian Defence Force has deployed five vaccine outreach teams, comprising about 70 personnel.
They have visited towns and cities ranging from Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo, to Trangie and Lightning Ridge.
Seaman Tavener, an advanced medic, said it had been been a fulfilling opportunity.
“I just love the idea of being able to travel and help people,” she said.
Seaman Tavener grew up on Norfolk Island, an Australian territory between New Zealand and New Caledonia with a population of less than 2000.
“It’s a very isolated and small community but everyone is so lovely,” she said.
Her ADF career can be traced back to the ADF guest speakers who visited her school.
ADF visits were a big deal on the 35-square-kilometre island.
“Whenever we had a RAAF plane or Navy ship stop by they would announce it on the radio and everyone would go down and check it out,” she said.
Seaman Tavener moved to the mainland in 2017 to attend the University of Wollongong and during this time visited an ADF recruiting centre.
She enlisted in the Navy in 2019 and has loved every minute.
Recently she spent a month in Townsville to complete the ADF medic course.
Her regular role is in HMAS Kuttabul’s Health Centre on Garden Island in Sydney.