95th birthday quiz: answers

1. From which Australian town did the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later becoming the RFDS) take off on its first mission in 1928?

a) Broken Hill
b) Longreach
c) Cloncurry

d) Griffith

The service answered its first call on 17 May 1928. From Cloncurry, the plane flew 137 kilometres (85 mi) to Julia Creek in central Queensland.

2. RFDS Founder Rev John Flynn witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas and had a vision to provide a 'mantle of ...'?

a) Security
b) Safety

c) Care
d) Wellbeing

Rev John Flynn's vision was to provide a 'mantle of safety' for the people of the bush, and his vision became a reality when his long-time supporter, H V McKay, left a large bequest for 'an aerial experiment' which enabled Flynn to get the Flying Doctor Service airborne.

3. What was the location of the first base owned and operated independently by RFDS SA/NT?

a) Adelaide
b) Darwin
c) Alice Springs

d) Port Augusta

The first base owned and operated independently by SA/NT Section was opened in Alice Springs in 1939.

4. True or false? The idea of using aviation to bring medical help to the Outback was first coined by a medical student.


 In 1917, Reverend John Flynn received an inspirational letter from Lieutenant Clifford Peel, a Victorian medical student and young airman in the Australian Airforce, suggesting the use of aeroplanes, which at the time were very novel machines, to bring medical help to the Outback. Peel didn’t live to see how successful his idea was, tragically, only 13 months after he sent the letter and weeks before the end of WW1, he died in battle at the age of 24.

5. Which of these inventions is the RFDS credited for?

a) Pedal-powered radio
b) Body chart
c) Medical chest
d) All of the above

As communications and aviation were still in their infancy, Rev John Flynn commissioned inventor Alfred Traeger to develop a pedal radio. It allowed people in the bush to communicate with the new Flying Doctor Service. The medical chest program, introduced in 1942, enabled people in the outback to offer treatment for minor injuries/ailments, and the body chart, which came in 1951, allowed patients to more accurately identify medical issues for doctors over the radio.

6. Today, how many aircraft does the RFDS operate nationally?

a) 40+
b) 50+
c) 60+
d) 70+

The RFDS operates more than 80 aircraft across the country, making it Australia’s third largest airline.

7. True or False? Today, the RFDS has more than 1,000 patient contacts daily across Australia.


The RFDS delivers more than 380,000 episodes of care across the country every year, through RFDS clinics, aeromedical transports and digital health consultations.

8. How many times has the RFDS transformed its logo?

a) Five
b) Six
c) Seven
d) Eight

Since 1928, the RFDS has transformed its logo eight times to reflect the changing nature of the Service and to modernise its look. Read more about the logo history.

9. This year, The RFDS is set to establish a healthcare clinic in which outback town?

a) Leigh Creek
b) William Creek

c) Pine Creek
d) Canteen Creek

10. True or False? The RFDS relies on community fundraising and donations to deliver its services.


The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on fundraising initiatives to replace aircraft and update vital medical equipment.

Donate and help keep the Flying Doctor flying.