Graphic: Order of Australia honours for Flying Doctor friends
A former RFDS remote area nurse and three long-serving volunteers were named in the 2023 honours list.
The RFDS congratulates Diane Bilka, Russell Duncan, Ken and Valerie Lamb, all of whom were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Diane spent decades as a nurse in remote Australia, serving the Andamooka community in Far North SA from 1981 (including from 2015-2021 with the RFDS).
Diane entered nursing in the 1970s and yearned to take her skills to the outback. A position became vacant in Andamooka, South Australia and she never looked back, spending the next few decades serving the remote mining community.
Russell was recognised for his contribution to the community through not-for-profits, including 21 years of volunteering service to the RFDS.
Russell has hit the road countless times for community events, country shows and other fundraisers, guiding families through the RFDS flight simulator and encouraging donations to help keep the Flying Doctor flying.
In addition to volunteering with the RFDS, Russell also dedicates his time to support the Mary Potter Foundation, Little Heroes Foundation, Contax Netball Club and Baseball South Australia.
Russell (left) is pictured here with volunteer Wayne in Whyalla, SA.
Ken and Valerie Lamb
Ken and Valerie were honoured for their contributions to the community of Roxby Downs and surrounds, including being founding members of the RFDS Roxby Downs Auxiliary.
The couple’s service was acknowledged with an RFDS Meritorious Service Award in 2013.
From remote South Australia to abroad, over the past few decades Ken and Valerie have been involved with Arid Recovery, William Creek Progress Association, Gawler Ranges Progress Association, Marree Aboriginal School, Marree Camel Cup, Aboriginal youth employment programs and several Fijian charities.