Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) at Broken Hill on Friday 25 November to recognise its vital work in providing healthcare to the region’s most remote areas.
The Tasmanian - born Crown Princess, who has a great interest in women and children’s health, will have an opportunity to hear more about the Flying Doctor, which has 21 bases across Australia and had more than 278,000 patient contacts last year.
The Crown Princess will also learn about RFDS services for women and children and launch a new initiative with the McGrath Foundation, to support women living with breast cancer in remote areas.
In the last year, the RFDS Women and Children’s Health Service based in Broken Hill saw 610 patients at 170 clinics in 20 locations from Ballera in Queensland to Pooncarie in New South Wales. As only a third of healthcare professionals in remote areas are female, women living in these areas have limited access to women’s healthcare.
RFDS South Eastern Section Joint Patron, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, will greet The Crown Princess on her arrival at the base.
RFDS National Chairman, Major General Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC, said “It is a real honour for us to welcome Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and we appreciate her interest in the work of the Flying Doctor and in the healthcare of people living in remote areas”.
During her visit The Crown Princess will meet with local RFDS partners, including the University of Sydney, Department of Rural and Remote Health and the Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation. She will also enjoy a performance from local School of the Air children in the RFDS hangar, before sitting down to an Australian themed lunch, prepared by local award-winning TAFE students.
RFDS South Eastern Section Executive Director, Clyde Thomson GM said “While the Royal Flying Doctor Service is best known for responding to medical emergencies, increasingly we are at the frontline of delivering essential primary healthcare to Outback Australia. We work in close partnership with organisations like Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and the University of Sydney, Department of Rural & Remote Health. This ensures our services are relevant, effective and meet the needs of the communities we serve”.
The Crown Princess was keen to show her support for the Royal Flying Doctor Service during her Australian visit, after being introduced to the Service by Mrs Marina Ritossa, Chair of the RFDS Friends in the UK, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
Preparations for the visit are already underway at Broken Hill Base and you can catch all the action on our Flickr page. You can follow the highlights of the visit tomorrow as they happen via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Pictured above: RFDS Broken Hill Base