Graphic: OCT

RFDS bridges the gap between the beach and the bush thanks to the Outback Car Trek

Date published

22 Apr 2020

With the support of our generous donors, The Royal Flying Doctor Service is dedicated to improving health outcomes for people living in rural and remote Australia.

If you happen to get sick living in Bondi, help is at your fingertips with more than 37 GPs available to you within a 3km radius. Many GPs would be able to fit you in on the same day and you would be on the mend in no time – and if not, a major hospital is a 15-minute drive away.

Meanwhile, for those living in Cobar NSW, there only three GPs available in an area of 45,609 square kilometres, and the nearest hospital is a three-hour drive away.

On the 11th of March 2020, the 31st Outback Car Trek was launched at Bondi Pavilion, and broadcast nationwide on the Sunrise morning show. Our dedicated trekkers and Flying Doctor staff came together to raise awareness of the disadvantages that people living in rural and remote Australia face, and to celebrate what the Royal Flying Doctor Service is doing to bridge the gap.

Michael Cook is a Flight Nurse and educator for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and will be on the Trek this year.

“We are so grateful for the support of The Outback Car Trek. They allow our service to buy state of the art medical equipment which we might not otherwise be able to afford.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Randall Greenberg also recognises the value of the trek. “Without fundraising, without people like the Outback Car Trek the Flying Doctor wouldn’t be able to fly, and we’ve been successfully doing that for over 90 years now so it’s a really important part of our service.”

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s Outback Car Trek has been postponed to October, but will still make its way across rural NSW, raising awareness and funds.

Mike Wheatley is one of our most dedicated trekkers, and has been supporting the Flying Doctor on every single trek for the last 30 years. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said. “People living in the outback just don’t have the same opportunities and access to healthcare as we do here in the city. The RFDS is working to bring equality to the bush. We must support them as best we can.”