First Australians

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia respects and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first Australians, and is committed to improved health outcomes and access to health services for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

RFDS CEO Martin Laverty said "Roughly half the people the Flying Doctor cares for in our health or dental clinics or transports by air or ground are First Australians.

"The Flying Doctor RAP, agreed with Reconciliation Australia, contains tailored actions for tangible improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."

RFDS RAP

We are proud to have launched the second RFDS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the years May 2018 - 2021 with a key focus on cultural safety. 

RFDS has cared for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for decades. The new RAP continues our commitment to the Close the Gap campaign.

Indigenous RFDS staff

Culturally safe health care has been identified as key to improving Indigenous health outcomes. 

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) supports new health career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and enhanced cultural safety of the RFDS workforce. 

The first RFDS RAP, which commenced in January 2016, saw the Flying Doctor across its seven million square kilometre service network undertake:

Indigenous child on plane

Detailed collection and publication of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient health data to inform RFDS health service planning;

Mother and child

Collection and publication of service satisfaction data from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to inform the cultural responsiveness of RFDS services;

Young girl

Identification of promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and aviation students for participation in a scholarship and mentoring scheme.

young boy lead from plane

As part of the RFDS RAP the Flying Doctors Research and Policy Unit are focused on finding solutions to disparities in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The report 'Providing Aeromedical care to Remote Indigenous Communities' was published in 2016 as part of this research. 

Providing Aeromedical care to Remote Indigenous Communities

Providing Aeromedical care to Remote Indigenous Communities

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"RFDS has cared for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for decades. The RAP galvanizes our contribution to the Close the Gap campaign," Mr Laverty said.

  Find out more about the RFDS