The generous gift that helped us respond to Covid-19

Date published

21 Aug 2023

At the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section), we are truly grateful for our caring and generous supporters across Australia.

One of the ways you can make a significant impact within our service is by leaving a gift in your Will. Every gift, no matter the size, can have a lifesaving impact for a family in need of our services, and with one-third of our funding coming through donations, your support is critical to allow us to deliver services to some of the most isolated outback communities.  

Without the compassionate support of the late Ross and Josephine Redfern, we would not have been able to deliver the educational support and essential training required during one of the most challenging times in the organisation’s 95-year history, the Covid-19 pandemic.


After receiving Ross and Josephine’s generous bequest in late 2020, their legacy provided essential training programs for our health and aviation teams so we could continue our most critical areas of service delivery in an ever-changing environment of lockdowns and restrictions.  

When the outbreaks in NSW reached Dubbo, Broken Hill and Wilcannia, protecting our most vulnerable rural and remote communities was our highest priority. Ross and Josephine’s gift supported the care and transport of acute Covid-19 patients, as our doctors and flight nurses received Advance Life Support training, and further specialized training for paediatrics and obstetrics patients.

During this time, we were also heavily involved in the vaccine roll out with NSW Public Health which required us to upskill flight nurses and non-clinical staff to be able to give injections at our newly created respiratory testing clinics. This funding also allowed us to maximize our service delivery by providing vaccinations for entire communities across rural, regional and remote Australia in a much shorter time frame.  

Border restrictions also meant interstate flight training programs had to be reorganised and all 60 of our pilots had access to the RFDS Flight Simulator training centre at Dubbo to maintain compliance. Their legacy was able to pay for over 430 hours of Flight Simulator training and guaranteed our fleet could continue to operate at its full capacity.

Michael Cook

All of this was made possible by Ross and Josephine’s incredible decision to leave a gift in their Will. During their lifetime, they were long-term supporters of RFDS SE Section and members of the Granville Rotary Club. Their passion for supporting equal access to healthcare was able to accomplish more than they ever could have imagined as the value of their bequest was over 70 times greater than any donation made during their lifetime.  

Their charitable bequest helped us overcome unforeseen obstacles, innovate our ways of working, and continue to reach those who needed us most.  

It is due to the kindness of everyday Australians like the Redferns that the Flying Doctor can continue to provide essential healthcare across the furthest corners for generations to come.

If you would like to make an invaluable impact in your Will with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section), the choice is yours and we are here to answer any questions you may have.  

Please feel free to get in touch with Gift In Wills Senior Coordinator Cristina Caamano to have a confidential conversation on 0448 280 193 or email: