Tracey Hoffmann
Descendant of the Gubi Gubi and Kulali people from Charleville
Major
Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps
Australian Army

Medals
Australian Operational Service Medal
Defence Ling Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal

 

Born and raised in Brisbane, I completed my Nursing Degree at Griffith University in 1997 and worked as an Indigenous Registered Nurse in primary health care throughout Queensland, Torres Strait and the Northern Territory before joining defence in 2006.  I also have a postgraduate certificate in business at the Northern Territory University and Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety. I cannot ever remember not wanting to be a nurse in the Army, but when I was younger, life kept me busy with my studies and raising a family with my husband (who is also in the military). When my boys grew older, I decided it was the time to pursue my dream of nursing in the Army.  Initially, I served in the Royal Australian Navy for a short time before transferring to the Army as a Nursing Officer.  In 2009, I headed the Specialist Health Recruitment Team at Defence Force Recruiting in Brisbane and Senior Nursing Instructor and Divisional Officer at the Naval School of Health, HMAS Cerberus as well as attending and supporting numerous Indigenous community engagement activities. I deployed on Pacific Partnership on USNS Mercy with a Joint Health Team from Australia, providing post-surgical humanitarian care for people on remote islands of Indonesia.

We were part of a defence contingent sent to Melbourne at the beginning of the first COVID lockdown. We thought we would only be away for a couple of weeks, but then weeks turned into months. All my family lived in Queensland. There were many days I felt lonely being away from family, but being a little older than most of the others, I felt comforted knowing the people around me were in the same position. I bought some knitting yarn and needles from Lifeline and made a very long scarf – then unpicked it and then knitted it again – three times over. In the end, we didn’t see our families for 7 months. I never finished that scarf, and it is still sitting in my storage ottoman. In 2021, I was lucky to be posted to 51FNQR as the Unit Welfare Officer to support command and advise on complex welfare issues for Indigenous and non-indigenous members. Currently, I am posted to Joint Health Unit Far North Queensland as the Indigenous liaison Health Officer, providing medical and dental support for soldiers of 51 FNQR.  I enjoy being able to travel to remote communities on the Cape to liaise with the local health clinics to assist with medical care and vaccinations for our soldiers to prepare them for Operational activities, and exercises and comply with defence medical requirements.  As an older Indigenous female officer, I enjoy supporting and mentoring our younger female Indigenous/Torres Strait soldiers at 51 FNQR.

As a mother, I have two wonderful sons who also went on to join the military. One son served in the Army for nine years, and the other served in the Navy for 10 years. Now that I have a beautiful grandson, I want him to be proud of his Grandma and say she is pretty cool! I have had some ups and downs throughout my career and sometimes thought about leaving, but I enjoy what I do too much to walk away.  I may be a little older than most but it doesn’t stop my passion to help others throughout their journey in defence.  At the end of the day, my favourite thing is hanging out with family and friends entertaining at home.