Graphic: John Kirwan, RFDS Tasmania inaugural Chief Executive Officer

RFDS Tasmania appoints inaugural CEO

Date published

07 Jan 2015

The Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr John Kirwan as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer.

RFDS Tasmania President, Mr Malcolm White said Mr Kirwan, formerly the CEO of Tasmanian Health Organisation – North brings extensive experience in health services delivery to the RFDS. "The Board is delighted to have appointed someone of John's Kirwan's calibre. John's primary focus is to develop primary health care services for rural and regional areas of our state."

For over 30 years, John has worked in Human Resources and health administration leadership roles and has made a substantial contribution to the Northern public health system in recent years. His previous role has given him a greater understanding and perspective of the health needs and issues faced by Tasmanian communities today.

Mr Kirwan said that he was privileged to have been appointed CEO of RFDS Tas and was looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the new role. "I am excited about the prospect of joining one of Australia's iconic organisations and most trusted brands here in Tasmania. My new role with the RFDS is a once-in-a-career opportunity to potentially enhance and build on primary health outreach programs for the state," Mr Kirwan said.

"Our health system is at the beginning of a period of transition where the focus of care is shifting to emphasise primary health care services. We are in an exciting new era where the RFDS is uniquely placed to assist in both delivering and advocating for improved services for rural and regional Tasmania where the need is high."

Unfortunately, Tasmania has some of the poorest health outcomes in Australia, and a strong focus on primary health is critical to addressing these poor outcomes. This has never been more important as Government comes under considerable pressure to look for outcome-based solutions.

The RFDS was established to provide a Mantle of Safety to those Australians who live and work in rural and regional areas. Mr White said, "The strength of the RFDS is its long-term focus on remote, rural and regional health care and the delivery of innovative solutions designed to fit the needs of the communities we serve."