Sailor on a mission in Pacific

Published on ABIS Chantell Brown (author), ABIS Chantell Brown (photographer)

Location(s): Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Able Seaman Medic Mele Buadromo records blood pressure stats on a Bougainville patient while in the adult ward onboard hospital ship USNS Mercy as part of Pacific Partnership 2015. (photo: ABIS Chantell Brown)
Able Seaman Medic Mele Buadromo records blood pressure stats on a Bougainville patient while in the adult ward onboard hospital ship USNS Mercy as part of Pacific Partnership 2015.

Darwin's Mele 'Bee' Buadromo, 27, a Fijian-born Royal Australian Navy medic is enjoying giving back to communities in the Pacific on a mission spanning from Fiji to Vietnam.

Able Seaman Buadromo is currently deployed in the American hospital ship USNS Mercy as a part of PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, an annual US-led humanitarian and civic assistance mission aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific regions.

Able Seaman Buadromo is a medic posted to HMAS Cerberus near Melbourne, comes from a family rich in military tradition and said she followed in her father’s footsteps, joining the Australian Regular Army eight years ago and then transferring to the Royal Australian Navy last year to pursue new horizons and travel opportunities.

“Navy has offered me a better work life balance and I am able to spend more time with my daughter Tamara-Rose,” she said.

Selection for places on PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP was extremely competitive, with many more volunteers for the positions available.

After being one of two selected from 200 Navy medics to participate in PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2015, she is now putting her skills to good use while consolidating her previous training and working alongside US Navy counterparts as a fully integrated member of the ship’s company.

“I have only been in the Navy for a year and I am stoked to be chosen for this amazing trip.

“I’m working in the adult ward carrying out a range of pre and post-surgery care and administration roles.” 

USNS Mercy has already visited Fiji as one of her four scheduled country destinations resulting in almost 250 patients receiving treatment in the casualty recovery and the adult ward. 

“Travelling to Fiji really hit home for me as that’s where I grew up before moving to Australia. 

“I’ve really enjoyed everything about this mission. Being part of patient care and humanitarian aid work is something I really love. I have made great friends and I feel so proud to be able to give back as a member of the Royal Australian Navy.”