Cheryl Elston's story
Cheryl Elston comes from a family with a long history of military service. She had always wanted to join the army.
Cheryl had hoped to become a front-line soldier but limitations on the service that women could undertake at the time led her to become a medic. She reasoned that as a medic she could potentially find herself on the front line.
Cheryl was serving in 1st Field Hospital when the call-up to go to Rwanda came. She was part of the advanced party of the first contingent. Most of the 1st Australian contingent United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda II (UNAMIR II) arrived in Rwanda in late August 1994.
At the Kigali Hospital, Cheryl worked long hours in the intensive care unit. She said that 'Rwanda changed her' but she was proud of her service and glad she had served there.