Graphic: Bendigo Memory Lane

Bendigo chosen as second base for Flying Doctor Memory Lane

Date published

04 Oct 2021

Officially launched this past May, Flying Doctor Memory Lane is a free service that supports people in end-of-life care to visit a place of personal significance at no cost. Transports are facilitated by qualified and trained volunteers, and utilise special, purpose built vehicles. These vehicles enable Memory Lane clients and their loved ones to reach their moment safely and comfortably. Journeys are focused on clients and families making new memories as well as enjoying their trip down memory lane.

Currently, there are two vehicles in the Memory Lane fleet; the first is stationed at RFDS Victoria’s base at Essendon Fields, while the second has just been relocated to its new home in Bendigo. This vehicle will be used to transport people in end-of-life care across Victoria to reconnect with the place that means the most to them; to admire their own garden, to feel the breeze of the seaside, or to be surrounded by loved ones and pets.

Bendigo was chosen because of its central location for regional Victoria, as well as for the Flying Doctor’s strong historical connection to the area in regards to patient transport and primary health services, and the great passion that our local staff and volunteers have for the service.

“We are known for saving lives and helping people overcome the barriers of accessing good health services,” says Scott Chapman, RFDS Victoria’s Chief Executive. “We're all about better health, better lives, but what about better end of life as well?”

Even before the official launch of Memory Lane, RFDS Victoria would conduct similar journeys when requests arose. To find out more about one of these journeys, and the difference it made to family and friends, click here.

To be eligible to use the service, clients must require specialised medication transport, have a terminal diagnosis and be receiving palliative or end-of-life care.

Flying Doctor Memory Lane is entirely donor-funded, and therefore relies exclusively on volunteers and generous donations to stay in operation. There are strict protocols in place to ensure the service operates in a COVID-safe manner.

Flying Doctor Memory Lane is proudly supported by businesses such as Amtek, Interleasing, Stryker, Label Concepts, ARB and Wheel-eez.

Flying Doctor Memory Lane is a member of the global Ambulance Wish Foundation (AWF) community, which was born in Rotterdam in 2007. The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Victoria is the second Australian organisation to bring this service to our shores, with Flying Doctor Memory Lane becoming the first service of its kind to operate in Victoria.

For more information about the service, please call 1300 017 337 or email memorylane@rfdsvic.com.au. Alternatively, visit https://flyingdoctormemorylane.org.au/.