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Brett happy to offer his skills in Fiji

Brett Walsh helps locals recover in Fiji.There Bendigo clinic nurse and State Emergency Service volunteer Brett Walsh is in Fiji helping its residents recover from tropical cyclone Winston.
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Wind gusts of up to 325km/h and waves up to 12 metres high battered the South Pacific nation two weeks ago.

It is believed to be the strongest severe tropical cyclone to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere.

He began is work with theAustralian Medical Assistance Teams as a training opportunity but soon foundhimself on his way to Fiji.

He hadn’t seen much of the devastation left by the tropical cyclone before landing in Fiji.

“Without seeing the news, what I foundhardest was talking to people and hearing thestories of people being lost,” Mr Walsh said.

“When you start meeting families andsympathising with them, you also seethe devastation ofwhole homes completely gone.

“All that is left is concreteslabs or (house)stumps. The trees striped of everything, there has been incredible the damage done.

“The devastation to island is almost total destruction but theFijians are incredibly resilient andhappy andgrateful to see us. They are soaccepting of us.”

Mr Walsh and the rest of his team have been traveling from village to village to offer medical help where they can.

Typhoid and dengue fever are real concerns.

“We see, on average, about 80 people a day,” he said.

“We havea doctor and a nurse from Australia and a doctor and a nurse from Fiji seeing whole villages.

“There are a lotof common things like respiratoryinfections, cuts and abscesses that need antibiotics.”

Mr Walsh has been a clinicnurse for eight years. He has volunteered with the SES for the same amount of time.

“We haven’t done so much rescue (in Fiji)but in terms of coping mechanisms (my SES training)has been good,” he said.

“Ithink it goes hand in hand with how I enjoy this work. Ilove helping people, I really enjoy the great satisfaction that comes from it.”

Mr Walsh said he has never done work like this before.

“This is my first deployment on behalf of the Australian Government but I did work with thefloods we had years ago,” he said.

“I have dealt with a lot of incidentslocally but this is my first timeabroad.

“I’m very proud to be offered the opportunity.”

SKILLS: Brett Walsh training with the SES in Bendigo last year. He is currently in Fiji helping locals recover from tropical cyclone Winston.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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