Giving from one War Memorial Hospital to another


Caption: Charlie and Bai at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital

St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital staff Bai and Charlie led a team to collect, package and ship a 40-foot container load of medical supplies to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, Fiji.

Bai has lived in Australia since 1989 and began working at St Andrew’s in the 1990s.

“When I first started at the hospital, I realised a lot of things in really good condition were just thrown away so I began thinking about how I could repurpose them to a good home,” Bai explained.

The Rewa Club of Brisbane – a group of families from the same province in Fiji meet monthly to discuss how they can support the local community back in Fiji.

“I was over the moon when I found out we could have all these things – I called the Club members straight away!” Bai said.

“I knew that beds didn’t get replaced too regularly and we all agreed we’d find a way to ship them over if St Andrew’s were happy for us to have them,” he said.

In partnering with our St Andrew’s team over a number of years, Bai, Charlie and their Rewa group have filled and shipped three containers of medical supplies to Fiji.

With collection taking up to three months, a Rewa Club member generously gave up their property to store the items until container packing day.

“Over time we’ve collected hospital beds, wheelchairs, curtains, thermometers, anaesthetic trolleys, IV poles, a ventilator and disposable syringes,” Bai said.

“Having family and friends in the area, we just know that the hospital doesn’t have the same equipment that we do here – specialist things like paediatric beds and cots,” he said.

Hotel Services Manager Susan Farlow is thrilled to be helping Bai’s community but also ‘recycling’ equipment that is in working condition.

“Often legislation changes mean that our equipment becomes redundant and it has to be upgraded but there’s nothing wrong with its working order,” Ms Farlow said.

“The nicest thing is that we can repurpose our items to a good home while at the same time, playing our part in the sustainability strategy in minimising waste.

So what’s next?

“We’re excited to be in the process of working with Bai and Charlie to fill another container over the next few months,” Ms Farlow said.

“Thank you to everyone at St Andrew’s for supporting our community in Fiji,” Bai said.

The Rewa Club of Brisbane fundraise the shipping container costs and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital is looking at opportunities to support this initiative.