Posted on 2 June, 2015


It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks to get us to this point here in Suva, Fiji. I like to call it the organised chaos in the lead-up to a team departing! It is not until you get here, and you see it unfold, that you realise the effect of the chaos.

Every trip has their pre-travel checklist: finding volunteers, processing paperwork, booking flights, getting insurance, making guides, ordering products, packing equipment, and the list goes on and on! Every visit has its’ unique process and goals. To me though, everything seems to be on a much larger scale in Fiji than I have previously experienced in my work with Open Heart International.


The scale starts with the sheer size of the team. The Fiji team is one of largest travelling groups with 44 people travelling to Suva. We have an amazing medical and nursing staff from four states – South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and NSW all dedicating 10 days of their personal leave to this amazing cause at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. I am excited to spend the next week with the team getting to know the volunteers as well as the equally committed local Fijian team we work with.

The fantastic job of Melanie Windus, our fearless Project Coordinator, does not go unnoticed. I know for a fact there were a number late night phone calls, difficulty finding equipment, packing on the weekends, printing labels late at night, it goes on and on…there is a lot that goes on behind the scene that people may not be unaware.


Today is my first day at the Hospital. It is 2:30pm here in Suva, and already 15 operation have been completed since surgery started on Sunday afternoon. Already there are patients safely through ICU, and now on the Ward, receiving plenty of TLC from the nurses. There are patients of all ages with two theatres running – one for adults and the other for paediatric.

Anyway back to work– stayed tuned for plenty more pictures and updates to come.


Tags:  Fiji,