Generous gift by the Bartle family

Graphic: Generous gift by the Bartle family

Generous gift by the Bartle family focuses on mental health services

Date published

31 Jan 2024

The late Dr Stuart and Mrs Bonnie Bartle have left a legacy that will continue for generations to come.

Leaving a gift in your Will to the RFDS is a compassionate and impactful way to help us deliver essential healthcare to outback communities for future generations.

The late Dr Stuart and Mrs Bonnie Bartle were eager to leave a legacy that would benefit outback communities in a way that aligned with their own family’s values, as they believed that every Australian, regardless of where they live, should have access to high-quality healthcare.

Graphic: Emma and Anthea, visit the RFDS Broken Hill Wellbeing Place

In early 2023, the RFDS received Stuart and Bonnie’s generous bequest and it has already provided critical mental health services, such as those offered at our Wellbeing Places in Broken Hill, Dubbo and Lightning Ridge.

To see the impact of their legacy, the Bartles’ nieces, Anthea and Emma, had the chance to visit the RFDS Broken Hill Wellbeing Place last year to meet with our Mental Health teams.

“Bonnie and Stuart would often talk about the Royal Flying Doctor Service to us. Our family values are about love and connection. And coming from a large family they always believed it was important that people had care and connection and love given to them no matter where they were in the world, no matter who you were, or what background you came from. To have access to care, be it medical, spiritual, or social was really important to them,” Emma said.

The family always knew the plan was to leave a gift in their Will to charity, as Stuart and Bonnie had spent their lives caring for others and were determined to continue to give back with their legacy.

“Bon and Stuart were unbelievably generous, not just within our own family, but with charities and in other areas as well. We always knew, Bon and Stuart didn’t have any children, and they were always very open that they were going to leave gifts to charity,” Anthea said.

Graphic: The late Dr Stuart and Mrs Bonnie Bartle

After serving as an officer in the Australian Army, including during the Korean War, Stuart became employed by the Immigration Department where he gained his fellowship in Psychiatry. 

He went on to be the Superintendent of The Sydney Clinic for more than 30 years. 

Throughout his career, he and Bonnie spent many years working and living overseas.

Bonnie spent her working life in women’s retail fashion stores, starting in the 1950s and had a bright and eclectic style that she carried through her life.

“If you didn’t see Bon first with her fashion flair, then you would hear her. Bon would be the life of the party and Stuart was the wise sage. They were both warm, loving and generous,” Emma added.

“I think the hardest thing is they can’t see the Wellbeing Place for themselves. So, I think I would say to people who are thinking about leaving a gift, it’s a really great opportunity to come out and see those places while you still can. It has made us feel so incredibly proud and humbled to get a glimpse into the world of the RFDS and to share what this incredible organisation does with our friends and family.”

To make an invaluable impact in your Will with the RFDS, reach out to Planned Giving Manager Cristina Caamano to have a confidential conversation on 0448 280 193 or email: cristina.caamano@rfdsse.org.au