Meet Army's blood ambassador
Natalie was born in Brisbane and grew up on Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville. She first donated blood at age 17 when the Australian Red Cross blood donation van visited her high school. She remembers having to ask her parents to sign a permission slip in order for her to donate. They were reluctant at first, concerned she may be too young, but saw how determined their daughter was to do so.
In the years following high school she moved to Brisbane to study. While at first she donated on a regular basis mostly during her holiday breaks at home, as life does, certain obstacles arose that prevented her from donating as often as she would have liked.
In 2010 at 22 years of age she enlisted into the Australian Army Band Corps where she spent the first part of her career at the Defence Force School of Music at Simpson Barracks, Melbourne. It was there that she first became aware of the Defence Blood Challenge and found out that the donation vans came to the base regularly. Trainees were encouraged to donate and even given time out of their work schedule to do so.
In 2011 she received her first posting to the Royal Military College Band in Duntroon, Canberra and has always found the Army the perfect environment to be a regular donor. The Australian Red Cross blood donation vans routinely visit at Russell Offices nearby to Duntroon and she finds her workplace an encouraging environment where many of her colleagues are also regular donors.
She hopes to complete her first plasma donation during the challenge.