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Dianne Hutchison - Repton

Repton's Dianne Hutchison is someone who should be awarded for service above and beyond the call of duty.

The grandmother and volunteer rural fire fighter has a passion for helping others, and now she will be spending a long time away from her home on the New South Wales north coast this year due to a deployment to Iraq with the Australian Army.

Dianne holds the rank of Captain in the Army Reserve and serves as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.

She recently deployed to Iraq with Task Group Taji Rotation Five, a combined force of more than 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces as they battle Daesh terrorist insurgents.

Dianne is a qualified Intensive Care Nurse in her civilian career with a specialisation in paediatric intensive care.

On deployment she works as an intensive care nurse in the Taji military hospital staffed by Australian and New Zealand health professionals.

"My military training and experience as an intensive care nurse at Coffs Harbour Hospital has proven invaluable on this deployment,"Captain Hutchinson said.

"Our military hospital is fully equipped, equal to an Intensive Care Unit within a civilian hospital in Australia."

She said walking into the military hospital is just like going in to work at home except for the outside austere environment.

"Outside is very different, the Task Group has arrived in the Iraqi summer and we are experiencing temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius daily," she said.

"The heat and dust is challenging and does take some getting used too."

While this is Dianne's first deployment as a Defence member, she has worked in Kabul Air Base in Afghanistan as a civilian nurse prior to deploying with the Army.

"After working in Afghanistan, I was really keen to serve on a deployment as an Army Nurse,"she said.

"My Grandfather and uncle were both in the Army and I thought I would seek the opportunity to use my skills as an Army Nurse on operations."