Graphic: Migrant students jump on board the RFDS aeromedical simulator

Migrant students jump on board the RFDS aeromedical simulator

Date published

08 Sep 2016

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) aeromedical simulator state tour will conclude in Launceston with a very special presentation to the TasTAFE Adult Migrant English Program students. The educational presentation will take place at the RFDS Hangar, Western Junction at 9:30 am on Friday 9 September.

The Look! Up in the Sky educational program was developed by the RFDS to provide learning and insight about the RFDS and is based on the core values of respect, teamwork, leadership, fairness and compassion.

The innovative online resource uses the iconic status of the RFDS and its real life stories to teach students about the unique nature of the Australian landscape and people's relationship with it in every-day settings. The program meets the Australian education curriculum requirements and uses the simulator and presentation to explain this part of our Australian history.

The TasTAFE students attending the presentation are from two classes studying with English Language Services North/North West at the Launceston City Campus in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), that is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

One group of students is undertaking the Young Migrant Education Program (YMEP); a specific youth program for students aged 18–24 years. YMEP is focused on the English language and provides pathways to further their study or work. Activities and excursions are arranged throughout the year to increase their level of social interaction in the local community.

The second group is students are part of the Settlement component of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). The program is for very recently arrived humanitarian migrants and aims to make them familiar with Australian society, and in particular, the Launceston community. Students participate in visits to local facilities and public institutions with the intention of making them more familiar with the local area services and therefore assist them to settle into their new community.

The students are from varied countries including, but not limited to Bhutan, Afghanistan and Burma. The current cohort of students is predominately Nepali speaking Bhutanese humanitarian arrivals, many of whom were health workers or teachers in their own community and have taken a keen interest in finding out more about the Australian health service.

The TasTAFE migrant students have been invited to the Launceston Base for a unique engagement session conducted by Tom Ryan, Program Manager – Education. During the session,
the students will learn about the RFDS from inception to present day and jump on the board to look over the simulator.

This initiative with TasTAFE is a national first for the RFDS and will be evaluated after the presentation.

Tom Ryan said that the simulator is a life-sized replica of the fuselage of a Flying Doctor aircraft. "The simulator has recently been transformed and now includes a cockpit, complete with avionics, a propeller and flight simulator. It also comes fully equipped with stretchers, oxygen, suction and communications."

"The presentation will give the migrant students some hands-on knowledge about the services and work currently being performed by Flying Doctor throughout Australia," Mr Ryan said.