Graphic: David Lyle
It is a great honour for me to write this first message to you as President of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section) (RFDSSE).
Firstly, I would like to thank Alex Scamps for his work as President since 2020, his contribution to the RFDSSE board, including the governance of the organisation over the last 5 years. Thank you, Alex, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
I’d like to explain to you a bit of my background and give you an understanding of what drove me to get involved in the great work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. My background is in health service development in rural and public health. My work includes service and policy – relevant research and evaluation in areas of lead and child health, primary health care, mental health, and palliative care for rural and remote populations, the very communities we proudly serve.
I moved to Broken Hill in 1995 to establish a University Department of Rural Health for the University of Sydney. This is an academic unit that focuses on expanding and enhancing the rural and remote health workforce through education and training, research, professional support and service development.
Last year I was heavily involved with the Far West Local Health District’s COVID response as the region’s public health controller. It was a privilege to join the skilled and committed professionals and community members working together to protect and support the people of Far West NSW during this pandemic.
I have been on the board of the RFDSSE for eight years and in addition to that role I am Chair of the Medical Health Service Advisory Committee, which is a Board Sub-Committee and is an expert advisory committee responsible for health and health related governance of the section and to provide strategic leadership in the provision of a safe and quality health care system.
I assumed the position of RFDSSE president in April 2022 and I was fortunate and proud that one of my first activities as Board President was to attend the announcement of $5.5 million of funding from the NSW Government to upgrade the RFDS Broken Hill Outback Heritage Experience.
This is a fantastic project that will modernise the tourism centre of the Flying Doctor in Broken Hill and will ensure the dedicated team can continue to educate visitors on the great work we do. Growing our services resulting in exciting news like this is happening all the time so I look forward to bringing you more.
I would like to take the opportunity to recognise the dedicated and generous supporters that the South Eastern Section is lucky to have. Without people like you standing beside us, we wouldn’t be able to deliver high-quality healthcare to regional and remote NSW. Thank you for being there for us, and for the people of our rural and remote communities.
Professor David Lyle President, Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section)