Anzac Day a time of reflection for veteran Dr Elizabeth Rushbrook

Dr Elizabeth Rushbrook portrait in uniform

Dr Liz Rushbrook has a decorated military career

For Metro North Health Chief Medical Officer of Medical Services Dr Liz Rushbrook, this Anzac Day will be a quiet time of commemoration as she reflects on her career with the Australian Defence Force.

Dr Rushbrook was studying medicine in Brisbane when she joined the Navy in 1991. Those early years studying with around 25 other students located in Brisbane saw them supported by HMAS Moreton located in New Farm.

“The digs that are now there are significantly more upmarket than the ‘warehouse’ building that was there at the time,” Dr Rushbrook said.

“I have many fond memories ‘destocking’ the wardroom fridge with my colleagues, supporting the cadet unit for parades, camps and short deployments and generally enjoying being a junior officer.”

After completing her medical training in Queensland, Dr Rushbrook posted to Sydney as a junior doctor.

She served 6 months at HMAS Creswell completing officer training before serving as a Medical Officer at various bases in Sydney as well as on a variety of ships including HMAS Moresby, Torrens, Sydney and Manoora.

Dr Rushbrook also worked with the Minor War Vessel Sea training group and managed a short relieving deployment to Timor Leste during Op Tanager.

“These were days of providing a mix of primary care, emergency care, sports medicine and mental health support services to one or more ships crews in both exotic and non-exotic settings,” Dr Rushbrook said.

By the early 2000s, Dr Rushbrook was married to husband Andrew, starting their family, and undertaking specialist training in medical administration and a Master of Health Administration.

Work in the Navy included a short stint in Canberra in preventive health division, Officer in Charge of Balmoral Navy Hospital, and the deployable health capability, the then ‘Maritime Role 2 – Extended team’ that deployed in Primary Casualty Reception Facility (PCRF) on HMAS Kanimbla and Manoora. During this time, she also deployed on a peacekeeping mission
to the Solomon Islands.

Dr Elizabeth Rushbrook in uniform at lecturn

Dr Rushbrook speaking at Anzac Day event

By the late 2000s, Dr Rushbrook posted to Canberra to work as the Director of Navy Health, then Director General Navy Health, and Director General Health Capability, an ADF role in the Joint Health Command.

“During this time, I was involved in supporting strategic maturation of the trauma management system to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Dr Rushbrook said.

“It was during this time that Australia saw so many losses of life and life changing injuries/illness across our serving members of all three services. It is these experiences that motivate me to continue serve veterans.”

The family moved to Brisbane in early 2016 when Dr Rushbrook transferred to the Reserve. She continued to serve on the Fleet Command board until 2017.

Dr Rushbrook has also been privileged to expand into the service of veterans through joining Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) as a Founding Director and five years as Chair. DRA is an organisation formed largely by veterans and built to serve through
disaster response and recovery.

“This Anzac Day will be a time of quiet commemoration and reflection for me – not only reflecting on my own service or that of my colleagues, but also of the service of those that have gone before me. I am particularly influenced by the service of health providers. Theirs are stories that motivate and inspire me to be a better person every day,” Dr Rushbrook said. 

“I could do none of this without the support of my husband Andrew, and our three sons, Jordan (22), William (19), and Thomas (18).”

2024-04-24T12:11:22+10:0024 April 2024|
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