Two recipients of the RFDS Midwifery Scholarships, Viv Wu and Mark, began working as Flight Nurses at RFDS Alice Springs Base during 2014 and haven't looked back.
For XuJun Wu, or Viv Wu as she is known to her colleagues,flying to remote outback communities and helping people who are sick or injured has been a long-held dream.
A visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service Port Augusta Base 10 years ago fired her interest in aeromedical nursing and in one day joining the RFDS.
Mark Brittle, a Critical Care Nurse at Canberra Hospital, also harboured a similar ambition.
Their interest was rewarded in 2012 when both received the RFDS Midwifery Scholarship to support their postgraduate study while nursing part-time.
Viv topped her class at Flinders University and in May 2014, received the Margaret Grace McNair AM Award for Midwifery as Flinders' best post-registration Midwifery student. Mark completed his Midwifery at the University of Canberra after working in a variety of critical care roles at Canberra Hospital. Both began working as Flight Nurses at RFDS Alice Springs Base during 2014 and haven't looked back, finding the close knit aeromedical crews at the base welcoming.
"I have already met so many friendly and supportive people here and felt their passion about making a difference for the rural and remote Australian communities," Viv says.
"It makes me feel proud that I am able to join this excellent organisation to contribute my knowledge and skills to such a unique health service."
Mark says he's thrived since he started at RFDS Central Operations, which covers South Australia and the lower two thirds of the Northern Territory, with its challenging physical environment and clinical settings allowing him to draw on his experience but also requiring flexibility and resourcefulness.
"Working with First Australians has also provided me with new clinical challenges and a greater insight into issues of Indigenous health," Mark says.
"The supportive team within Central Operations, and specifically Alice Springs, has ensured a smooth transition into my new role … the view from the office isn't too bad either."
Both are now part of the world's largest aeromedical organisation with 21 bases, 63 aircraft and five remote primary health
facilities delivering emergency assistance and essential primary health care services to more than 290,000 people living, working and travelling in Australia each year.
The RFDS offers a limited number of annual Midwifery Scholarships available across Australia each year for suitably qualified Registered Nurses.
Learn more about the midwifery Scholarship that Viv Wu and Mark have been involved in.