3 surfboards with paintings of birds are pictured standing up in the outback. The dirt is bright orange and sky a rich blue.

The outback surf club making waves for Flying Doctor

Date published

22 Oct 2022

Situated 900km from the nearest beach, Winton is normally a sought-after outback experience known for its stretches of red dirt, not white sand. It definitely isn’t the place you would expect to find a local Surf Club. So you may be surprised to learn that the owners of the Outback Motel, Steve and Leesa Collins, have turned an area of their popular venue into Winton's very own Surf Club.

However, this venture wasn’t just launched in the name of novelty. Instead, the Winton Surf Club has been established as a fundraiser for local charities.

The Flying Doctor was fortunate to be nominated as the first beneficiary. 

Talking to Queensland Country Life, Outback Motel owner Steve said "guests, locals, tourists - whoever - are encouraged to visit the Winton Surf Club - take some photos beside the hand-painted surfboards, then donate to the RFDS."

RFDS (Queensland Section) General Manager of Fundraising Katherine Ash expressed the Flying Doctor's sheer delight and appreciation for the creative idea. 

"We are so fortunate to have a solid family of RFDS advocates across the communities in which we operate but of all the amazing and unique fundraising initiatives we've seen, this is definitely up there!"

“We rely so heavily on the donations of individuals, businesses and communities so initiatives like this, which provide both a physical donation tin and QR codes that link people directly to our donor page, are so important for us to continue providing the finest care, to the furthest corner.”

Rumour has it that the Winton Surf Club has already attracted some high profile celebrities including the likes of respected TV journalist Ray Martin and infamous photographer Ken Duncan OAM - even the Nationals Leader MP David Littleproud stopped in for a visit. 

If you haven’t listed the Winton Surf Club on your list of must-do experiences, now is the time. 

Until then, you can also support the RFDS online via: https://rfds-qld.giveeasy.org/general-donations