Top student continues medic legacy

Department of Defence

For Aircraftwoman Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook, being named the top Air Force student at the Army School of Health means continuing a legacy.

The RAAF meritorious achievement award had its name changed to honour Sergeant Wendy Jones, who died in 2005 while on an ADF medical mission.

The award serves as tribute to Sergeant Jones’ legacy of dedication, selflessness and clinical competence, and to the countless aviators who continue in her footsteps.

To receive the Sergeant Wendy Jones Award, an aviator medic trainee must, beyond that of their peers, demonstrate outstanding theoretical and practical aptitude; dress and bearing; attitude and application; and, finally, coursemanship.

Aircraftwoman Hiller-Stanbrook wants to work in humanitarian aid, as Sergeant Jones did, and finds it rewarding to improve someone’s quality of life.

“It’s a privilege just to be compared to her legacy,” Aircraftwoman Hiller-Stanbrook said.

“Her whole story reaffirms the importance of medical service and why we chose to be medics.”

Sergeant Jones’ niece, Flight Lieutenant Brooke Steege, and sister, Alison Meade, who is an ex-serving Air Force medic, presented the award at the students’ graduation in November.

“The ability for them to come and present it was incredible. To receive the award from her sister who was a medic herself was very humbling,” Aircraftwoman Hiller-Stanbrook said.

Everyone on the course was considered and judged on academic performance and course workmanship.

The course was 18 months long and included more than 160 assessments.

“Work-life balance with all the assessments you get given was difficult,” Aircraftwoman Hiller-Stanbrook said.

“To maintain the high fitness standards and to assimilate into Army life, being an Air Force person, at times made me feel like I was lagging.”

Sergeant Jones was an Air Force medical assistant who died in 2005 along with eight other personnel when their helicopter, Sea King ‘Shark 02’, went down during a humanitarian support mission.

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