Graphic: Pilots soar across the outback to raise vital funds for remote communities
The 11th Lottery Office Outback Air Race (0AR) has been hailed as a huge success, after it raised a massive $750,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
There were 86 people and 34 teams who set out from Darwin on the 29th of August 2022, and flew to Cooinda, Adels Grove, Karumba, Shute Harbour, Gladstone, Roma and Goondiwindi before landing in Coffs Habour on 11th of September.
The amount raised for the 11th event was a new record, with organisers adding that the Outback Air Race continually gets bigger and better and as it is held every three years, planning began as early as 2019.
“We faced more than our fair share of challenges – especially COVID and its associated travel and event restrictions, making it generally difficult to plan anything,” Stuart Payne, The Lottery Office Outback Air Race Manager said.
“But what didn’t change was the determination of the participants to fundraise hard for the Flying Doctor, to commit in the face of uncertainty, and to have a great time.
“With $750,000 raised and with post-event feedback being massively positive, we can confidently state that OAR 2022 was a resounding success. We thank all our participants, sponsors, supporters, stakeholders and our hard-working race committee for achieving this great result.”
The OAR is a time and accuracy trial, with pilots awarded points at each leg of the race. Participants have not only made great friends but have been lucky to meet locals along the way who share their own Flying Doctor stories.
“When we fly through the outback and visit remote towns and cities, you realise what a vital service the RFDS is. Everyone has a story to tell of family members being saved by the service and are only too happy to donate to the cause.” Julie Jardine, pilot and committee member for the race said.
“As pilots, we get to see first-hand what conditions are like for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and how important it is to keep the planes in the sky.”
Winners of the 2022 OAR were the Wacky Warbos from Canberra, while Team Tait from Goondiwindi won the fundraising with a whopping $106,000 raised.
John Rafferty from Coffs Harbour won the official OAR raffle for a trip to the outback.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Outback Air Race. The money you raised will help us deliver critical health services.