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AIR FORCE February 4, 2010
AIR FORCE has won the ADF's
inaugural blood donor challenge,
helping to raise awareness of the
importance of donating blood to
people in Australia and those on
ADF operations overseas.
The challenge was held
Australia-wide between September
1 and November 30.
Out of a total 1265 donors, Air
Force provided 489. This included
205 from RAAF Base Edinburgh,
156 from RAAF Base Pearce, 72
from RAAF Laverton and 56 from
RAAF Base Wagga.
The figures are all the more
remarkable as the donations were
made at Red Cross centres and not
at base medical centres.
Commander Joint Health
MAJGEN Paul Alexander said the
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
was vital to Defence operations and
thanked the donors from the three
"The blood challenge has helped
increase the numbers of donors
within the three services, and I
congratulate Air Force on register-
ing the most donors," MAJGEN
"We appreciate the work
that's been done and I think it's
very important that Defence gets
involved to build on these sorts of
"Our relationship with the
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
is an important one, and our person-
nel on operations are very depend-
ent on these life-saving donations."
Realising the importance of
blood since first donating at 18
years of age, Army's MAJ Gary
Schulz planned the challenge and
hopes to build on the event next
"Being in the ADF I've always
felt that I was healthy and therefore
an ideal donor," MAJ Schulz said.
"There are many people who
aren't lucky enough to be as healthy
as most service personnel and there-
fore we have the ability to provide
our 'liquid gold' to help other peo-
MAJGEN Alexander said the
ADF would stay involved and sup-
port the blood drive next year as
well as continuing to ensure that the
range of blood products available to
deployed troops remains suitable.
For more information on donating
blood to the Red Cross, call 13 14
95 or visit www.donateblood.com.
TWENTY volunteer members from 2
Airfield Defence Squadron (2AFDS)
brought some cheer to children with
special needs in Brisbane on Decem-
ber 13 when they participated in the
2009 Golden Casket Variety Christ-
More than 3000 children and family
members attended the event, which is
co-sponsored by Golden Casket and the
children's charity Variety.
2AFDS team organiser CPL Nick
Beamish said the group from RAAF
Base Amberley had mounted its own
display but had also assisted with a wide
range of other activities.
"We displayed one of our Land
Rovers and two motor bikes, and a
range of our equipment," CPL Beamish
"However, we also supported the
event with the setting-up and disman-
tling of the venue, and by handing out
presents to the children, looking after
lost children, face-painting and assisting
with other displays.
"It was a day-long event and pretty
CPL Beamish said that the Air Force
display proved very popular with the
children and also with the organisers.
"The team enjoys doing it and we
are glad to help out and bring some hap-
piness to the children," he said.
"Also, it is good to be able to give
something back to the community."
good cheer to
BLOODY IMPRESSIVE: AIRCDRE John Kentish hands his veins
over to Lisa Mihaljevic from the Red Cross mobile blood bank. Air
Force won the ADF inaugural blood donor challenge, held from
September to November last year, after nearly 500 members donated
blood to the Red Cross around Australia.
Photo: LAC Aaron Curran
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