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Stacey Eason - Australian Army takes Canberra/Melbourne woman to the Philippines

Stacey Eason has had some amazing experiences since joining the Army Reserves six years ago, but her deployment to the Philippines is certainly a highlight.

Captain Eason, who grew up in north Canberra and now lives in Montmorency in Melbourne, was recently deployed to Legazpi in the Philippines on Exercise Balikatan from 21 April – 16 May 14.

Exercise Balikatan is an annual military exercise between the United States military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines which included a field training exercise, staff exercise and a humanitarian civic assistance program.

The Australian Defence Force played a supporting role in the exercise by supplying nearly 70 personnel.

Based in Legazpi, Capt Eason, an Army Reserve preventive health officer from Melbourne’s 6th Health Support Company, supported the humanitarian civic assistance program by providing advice on preventative health.

“We focused on educating and teaching the health care professionals, rather than treating patients,” she said.

“While lots of patients received treatments they wouldn’t normally receive, the focus for us was on passing greater skills and knowledge onto the health care workers in the regions so they can provide this treatment in the future.”

While it’s a long way from where she grew up in Canberra and where she currently lives in Melbourne, Capt Eason said it’s been an amazing experience.

“We got a lot of job satisfaction from helping people out and seeing them treated and knowing they will be healthier when they left,” she said.

Capt Eason, who is employed by the Moreland City Council as an environmental health officer, said she enjoyed deploying for the Army Reserves but was glad to return home.

“I love where Matthew, my husband, and I live in Melbourne,” she said.

“Every direction we walk out of our house there are parklands. It’s a beautiful area.”

She may love Melbourne, where she completed university, but she would move back to Canberra, where she played softball for the Gungahlin Angels and rugby for the Gungahlin Eagles, if given the chance. Especially because her mum Gerda, and dad, Phil, still live there.

“Matthew and I love everything about Canberra,” she said.

“It’s the best and easiest city to live in if you want to get involved in the community.

“We would move back there in a heartbeat.”