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Raymond Mushayabasa - Griffith

Dispensing life-saving medication in the Middle East, is Zimbabwe born Australian Army Pharmacist, Raymond Mushayabasa who ensures soldiers, sailors and airmen have critical medical supplies.

"In the Middle East my role is unique here because I am the only pharmacist in the region," Lieutenant Mushayabasa said.

"All medical demands come through me. That means I am supplying the Australian Navy, Army and the Air Force across three operations."

Lieutenant Mushayabasa is currently deployed on Operation ACCORDION, based in Al Minhad Air Base, Unites Arab Emirates.

Operation ACCORDION is the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to support personnel deployed across the Middle East Region including Afghanistan for Operation SLIPPER and Operation MANITOU in the maritime environment.

Provision of pharmacy services including dispensing, monitoring, evaluation and assurance of safe and effective use of medication rest on Lieutenant Mushayabasa shoulders.

"I look after such a large area and have to prepare for any potential health risk," he said.

"Most medications here are very similar to Australia; however I also cater for any potential or geographical threat."

"I had to make preparations, just in case ADF personnel deployed were exposed to Yellow fever."

Moving to Australia in 2004, Lieutenant Mushayabasa went to Griffth Catholic High School in New South Wales (NSW).

Graduating in 2006, he then attended Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, studying to become a pharmacist and eventually wearing an Australian Army uniform.

"I joined the Australian Defence Force half way through my degree, in 2009, through the undergraduate program," he said. "I didn’t have to worry about my costs or buying text books which are very expensive."

Lieutenant Mushayabasa officially commenced his military duties in 2012 after he completed his pharmacy internship in Redcliffe, Queensland.

"I was getting paid more than most interns, as Defence was paying me to complete my pharmacy qualifications."

Lieutenant Mushayabasa has been at Al Minhad Air Base for approximately six weeks and will be deployed for just over six months.

"It has been a very good six weeks, I have been exposed to so much stuff that I would never have dreamt of as a pharmacist."

Lieutenant Mushayabasa father, Giveous, and mother, Anirisha Mushayabasa both work at the Griffith Base Hospital, NSW.

"We are a clinical bunch, and that’s probably why I became a pharmacist as well."

"My parents were initially concerned when I wanted to join the Army, however my mother is used to me serving now and I try to reassure her that I am fine and everything is going well."

Before Lieutenant Mushayabasa heads home, he will receive a short break from his deployment and he is looking forward to seeing more of the world.

"I would like to go to Europe because I have never been to Europe," he said.