Graphic: Broken Hill artist donates painting to Flying Doctor Mental Health team

Broken Hill artist donates painting to Flying Doctor Mental Health team

Date published

22 Jun 2017

A new painting that highlights the importance of community members talking and listening to each other has been donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern (RFDS SE) Section's Mental Health team.

Renowned Broken Hill artist Howard Steer was commissioned to paint the artwork for the Mental Health team's consulting room and in addition to painting, he went one step further and donated it.

"The warmth and energy of the painting Howard so generously donated will fill the room where we conduct our consultations," said RFDS SE Section's Mental Health Nurse Vanessa

Graphic: RFDS Mental Health nurse, Vanessa Latham

"The colours of this painting will exuberate a calming effect during our therapeutic work with patients."

Vanessa said her team went to Howard with a vision of a painting showing people sitting around and having a yarn in the Outback, with the Flying Doctor joining in.

"Howard helped us expand our idea and the picture now tells the story of the Outback environment featuring depression, isolation, a black dog and a drover," she said.

"We can't thank Howard enough for his support and willingness to help raise awareness of mental health issues and treatment strategies."

This is not the first time Howard has donated a painting to support the RFDS - he has been a longstanding supporter and speaks from experience when he says how important the service is.

"I lost some fingers and the Flying Doctor took me to Adelaide and saved my hand," Howard said.

"I've painted a lot for them and I don't mind – they are my number one charity."

Howard said he was even more passionate about the issues surrounding the artwork.

"Depression has been swept under the carpet for a long time and it's a major problem people have only just started to talk about," he said.

"It's good the Flying Doctor is helping and encouraging people to talk and get support."

If this RFDS news raises matters of concern for you, contact RFDS emergency services in your state by visiting or call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36.