Lisa Darley

Graphic: Lisa Darley

Leading at the sharp end

Date published

08 Mar 2021

How do you #choosetochallenge? For International Women’s Day on 8 March, the United Nations invited the world to challenge inequality and celebrate women’s success. At the RFDS we strive to live that challenge every day – not just 8 March!

Lisa Darley

Women run three of the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section’s busiest bases – Broken Hill, Dubbo, and Mascot.

“Stretching myself beyond my norm was why I decided to join the RFDS,” says Lisa Darley, Health Services Manager at Broken Hill.

The Health Services Managers are the South Eastern Section’s leaders at the sharp end, overseeing everything from emergency responses to remote clinics and telehealth, and responsible for longer-term strategic planning and development.

Lisa Darley came to the RFDS from NSW Ambulance. “I had learnt so much, gained valuable experience and thought it was time I chose to challenge and go beyond my limitations to help others and the communities in remote NSW,” she explains about her decision to move.

“I knew nothing about aviation, but I did about health – and mixing the two in a rural remote setting as a leader in such a unique organisation as the RFDS has grown my potential and ability to help improve the service delivery to those whom we serve.”

Overall, nearly two-thirds of the medical professionals serving communities with the South Eastern Section are women (57 of 88).

They serve in operational roles from Primary Health Nurse to Senior Medical Officer: meanwhile, half of the senior executive team are women too.

“My biggest advice to any young female leader,” says Lisa, “is to always choose to challenge yourself, find your potential, find ways to make things better, do what’s good for the soul and bring all around you along for the journey.”