From Batlow Pharmacy to Hawaii, Zoe Burgess travels the world

Published on LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Location(s): Honolulu

Seaman Medic Zoe Burgess demonstrates patient care in the sick bay in Anzac class frigate HMAS Ballarat during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
Seaman Medic Zoe Burgess demonstrates patient care in the sick bay in Anzac class frigate HMAS Ballarat during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

Batlow’s Zoe Burgess is having the time of her life on Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Ballarat in Hawaii as one of 25,000 personnel taking part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, the world’s largest maritime exercise.

Zoe’s smiling face and happy disposition may be recognisable to locals as throughout high school she was one of the helpful staff at the Batlow Pharmacy.

Pursuing her career aspirations in medicine and helping others, Seaman Medic Burgess spent 18 months in training at Albury Wodonga to qualify as a Navy Medic.

Zoe’s role is essential to Australian Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Ballarat’s crew being able to safely conduct activities at sea with ships from 25 other countries involved in RIMPAC 16.

“My daily duties being a medic involve looking after the ships company’s health, ensuring they are all fit and able to conduct their day to day jobs,” she said.

For Seaman Burgess this is her first overseas deployment and some highlights include being a part of the ship’s crew during the firing of its Harpoon anti-ship missile combined with a port visit to Pearl Harbor during the Fourth of July celebrations.

“This exercise is one that everybody in the Navy is pretty keen to go away on given the activities, exercises and of course being able to visit Hawaii, I feel so lucky to have been afforded this opportunity,” she said.

“I have learnt so much on this deployment and really have developed my practical skills and increased patient care medical knowledge.”

RIMPAC seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, as a means of promoting stability in the region and to foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

Ballarat
is due to head home later in the year and Zoe can’t wait to see her family and friends, share her experiences from Hawaii and what it is like travelling the world with Navy.