Education Program milestone

Date published

30 Aug 2019

RFDS Victoria’s Education Program titled Look! Up in the Sky turned 2,000 on Wednesday, 28 August when Education Program Manager Tom Ryan did his 2,000th session at St Peter Apostle Primary School in Hopper’s Crossing.

Tom was joined on the day by RFDS Victoria Chief Executive Scott Chapman, who introduced him to the students, as well as Ray Conway; a longstanding volunteer who has played a vital role in the program’s success over the nine years it’s been running.

Tom’s role has seen him travel all over Victoria, explaining the rich history and ongoing importance of the RFDS to students in grades 2-6.

The sessions are a much-loved resource for teachers; in part because of their dynamic, engaging nature, but also because they tie-in with the Australian curriculum, involving elements of history, geography, and civics and citizenship. All of this is aided by some fantastic props including a medical chest, a jumbo-version of the $20 note, and – the crowd favourite – the aircraft simulator.

The program provides a chance to highlight the importance of community, celebrate Australian heroes and, hopefully, inspire the pilots, doctors, nurses, supporters and volunteers of tomorrow.

Tom sums it up best when he says, “We make an impact with this program every day – not just on kids, but on teachers, parents and the wonderful volunteers who work with us.

“I’ve met thousands of fantastic young people, parents and teachers over the years including kids and young adults who have mental or physical impairments, kids in very isolated schools and metropolitan audiences who had limited knowledge of country Australia before we came by.

“It’s the best job in the world.”

For more information on Tom’s program, please visit