Skip to main content
Skip navigation

You are here: Home > About Us > Our History > John Flynn Timeline

  • print
  • email

John Flynn Timeline

25 November 1880 

Born at Moliagul in Victoria to Thomas and Rosetta Flynn, their third child and second son.

A teacher with the Victorian Education Department.
Home Mission appointed with the Presbyterian Church.

Enrolled at Ormond College for training as a Minister, in same year published "Bushman's Companion", a book of 111 pages of which 4,000 copies were printed.
Ordained as a Minister for the Presbyterian Church in Adelaide, for work in South Australia.
Presented his report on the Northern Territory and Central Australia to the Home and Foreign Missions Board.  From this report came the Australian Inland Mission.
Flynn commenced the production of the "Inlander", a quarterly magazine that continued until November 1929.
The "Inlander" printed an article on outback aviation and its potential.
Second article written by Flynn, entitled "Flying Doctor-why not?"
Flynn met Alf Traeger for the first time in Adelaide. In the same year, Flynn was made a member of the Wireless Institute of Australia.
Northern Territory Pastoral Association urged the Federal Government to establish a wireless at every outback Police Station.  Also in this year, the A.I.M approved the establishment of an Aerial Medical Service, and Traeger joined Flynn in October as his wireless expert.
The "Wireless Weekly" published an article by Flynn on February 4 entitled "Bush Wireless".  This was the year the slogan "Mantle of Safety" was first introduced.  Flynn used it in an article published in the October issue of the "Inlander." 1927 also saw Cloncurry selected as the Base for the A.I.M Aerial Medical Service. "Medical Journal of Australia of December 24 carried an advertisment for a Flying Doctor and offered a salary of 1 000 pounds per annum, with travelling expenses and an insurance cover of 2 000 pounds. There were 23 applicants and Dr Kenyon St Vincent Welch was appointed.
Cloncurry Base established March 27 and Dr Welch arrived on May 15 and performed his first duty on May 17.
Traeger is joined by Harry Kinzbrunner in a search to establish a good communication network by morse key.  By the end of 1929 five out-stations were operational.
Flynn's idea of a Frontier Medical Service, as a national organisation.  Traeger commences investigation into his "typewriter" Morse key and some 70 were produced.
Flynn at age 51 married Miss Jean Baird, then secretary of  A.I.M.  She survived Flynn and died in 1976.
Admitted to the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Air/ground radio communication was proved to be possible with a test conducted on July 31.  In the same year, radio-telephone was introduced. Flyinn fought for and won the establishment of an Aerial Medical Service, Australia-wide.  On August 23, 1934, Victoria established a Section of the A.A.M.S and in the same year Western Australia decided it would follow but their service did not become a registered company until July 1936.
Australian film entitled "The Flying Doctor" was screened in Sydney in September and created much interest and drew a flow of donations.  
The Queensland Section was established on April 26.  By November, all states had an A.A.M.S. in operation and Flynn's dream was realised.  There were 200 outpost radios, six aircraft, each with pilot and doctor, serving 2 1/2 million square miles.
Appointed Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.  In 1942, A.A.M.S. became "The Flying Doctor Service."
Flynn attended his last meeting of the Federal Flying Doctor Council.
Flynn died on May 5.  His body was cremated and his ashes rest under the Flynn Memorial Stones at Alice Springs.  His wife's ashes were also placed there in 1976.
The prefix "Royal" was added to our title.
Flynn Memorial Church was opened in Alice Springs.

Related Links