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Canberra electrician makes a difference in Africa

13 February 2020: Canberra electrician Bobby Gane has found a way to use his skills to help others by volunteering on board the world’s largest independent hosptial ship in Africa.

“A friend saw a Facebook post from Mercy Ships announcing electricians were urgently required. He told me about it, sounded amazing, and I went,” Mr Gane said.

Mr Gane first signed up to serve in 2018. Since then he has spent six months with Mercy Ships in Cameroon and recently two months in Senegal.

“I had a very rare cancer when I was 18 months old. It took six treatments and 18 months until they found a way to cure it.”

“If it wasn’t for the love of my family and the skill and devotion of the medical teams, I would not be alive today.”

He said that anything he can do to help will create a lifetime of difference to those in need.

“I love that Mercy Ships is devoted to people who live in Africa and fixing people with broken bodies.”

“I have no medical skills myself but using my skills to keep the hospital ship functioning so that others can do that work is a tremendous honour.”

The Africa Mercy serves in each African port it visits for 10 months and during this time provides thousands of life-changing surgeries on board, treats thousands more at a land-based dental clinic and also trains local medical professionals.

“I don’t know much about the specifics of these countries but what I do know is that there are a lot of people with limited or no access to affordable health care.”

“That is until the Africa Mercy showed up.”

An electrician with ActewAGL back home, Mr Gane has been exposed to various electrical challenges before but never those found on a ship.

“I loved the electrical and engineering team I served with and the challenge of learning to be a ship’s electrician.”

“I think all services on the ship are invaluable and electrician is no different in that respect.”

Mr Gane also had the opportunity to mentor a local Cameroonian electrical apprentice named Denise.

“She has a rare opportunity to become a qualified professional in a country that favours men in such roles.”

“She pours her gratitude into her work and her ongoing passion is an example to me of how much our presence means to the people of West Africa.”

Mr Gane said there is always a need for more electricians like him to serve with Mercy Ships and he would encourage anyone with the skills to do so.

“I loved it on board the ship; I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so valuable.”

See how your technical skills can make a difference at https://mercyships.org.au/volunteer-as-an-electrician 


About Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1.66 billion, with more than 2.77 million direct beneficiaries. Each year, more than 1,200 volunteers from over 40 nations serve with Mercy Ships. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. Mercy Ships Australia, one of 16 international support offices, is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. For more information, visit www.mercyships.org.au

Notes to Editors

High resolution photos of Mercy Ships volunteer Bobby Gane are available upon request, with attribution to Mercy Ships.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Mason
National Office Manager
Mercy Ships Australia
(07) 5437 2992