David Lyle

Graphic: David Lyle

Message from the Deputy Chair

Date published

21 Aug 2023

We are so grateful to have you stand beside us in the journey to provide healthcare to outback Australians.

I am constantly amazed by the support that the community shows for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. As an organisation we are so grateful, because without it, people in rural and remote communities would not have access to essential healthcare. 

In May the RFDS celebrated 95 years of operation. John Flynn’s vision for a “mantle of safety” for outback communities became a reality on May 17, 1928 when the first flight took off from Cloncurry to Julia Creek to help two patients at a remote nursing home.  

Since then, we have grown to be one of the most comprehensive aeromedical services in the world, expanding our services and reach to ensure we can provide the finest care to the further corner.

David Lyle

It doesn’t matter if you are living, working or just travelling through outback Australia, if you find yourself in a health emergency, the RFDS will be there for you.  

While we began as an emergency retrieval service, today the Royal Flying Doctor Service is about much more. Within the South Eastern Section we offer primary healthcare, GP clinics, extensive mental health and alcohol and other drug services, and dental care.  

From bases at Broken Hill and Dubbo the RFDS provides more than 85,000 cases of care in and around NSW every year, as well as performing non-emergency patient transfers, interhospital transfers and contracted aeromedical service delivery.  

While so much has changed about the way we deliver healthcare, one thing that hasn’t changed is the support we receive and how vital every contribution is to our organisation.

Reverend Flynn’s vision could only become a reality through the generosity of Hugh Victor McKay, who left a Gift in Will for the purchase for our first aircraft.  

Today, one third of our services are funded through the generosity of supporters like you. We have just reached the end of another financial year and our team have sent out more than 19,000 thank yous. At a time where there are so many competing priorities and financial pressures, we are grateful you continue to stand with us.  

You can be certain the RFDS will never take your support for granted and neither will the people of outback Australia. 

Dr David Lyle 
Deputy Chair, Royal Flying Doctor Service