Rosemary’s family needed the Flying Doctor

Date published

27 Jan 2021

Rosemary had no idea she would be the only member of her immediate family who hadn’t been flown by the Flying Doctor. Now she donates to help other families get the care they need.


Rosemary grew up in Broken Hill. She later moved to Canberra to study, and now lives with her husband Ken in Queanbeyan where she enjoys teaching singing lessons, dancing, gardening, and spending time with her family. 

Rosemary has fond memories of the Flying Doctor from her childhood. 

“I remember driving past the old RFDS base on the Barrier Highway as a child and feeling proud that it was there to look after people who needed help. It never occurred to me then that my family would need it,” Rosemary said. 

Rosemary would later learn that she is the only member of her immediate family who hasn’t fl own in a Flying Doctor plane. 

“My mother Helen was flown to Royal Adelaide Hospital in September 1975, after surgery for thyroid cancer. My father Carl was also flown to Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2000, due to his declining health and worsening dementia,” Rosemary recalls. 

“My brother Justin was flown to Dubbo after an accident with a power tool earlier this year. He damaged his thumb and needed specialist orthopaedic treatment, not available in Broken Hill. Thanks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Dubbo Base Hospital, he has recovered well. As an older sister, I want to say that I hope he won’t injure himself with DIY home projects again,” Rosemary said.


Living in Queanbeyan, Rosemary and Ken feel lucky to have emergency and specialist care on their doorstep. 

“Our local hospital is only 10 minutes away. It transfers patients to Canberra Hospital when more serious treatment is needed, and that’s only a 30-minute drive,” she said.

Despite never needing the Flying Doctor herself, Rosemary says she decided to start supporting the service through regular donations in 2019. 

“People in remote areas are hours away from help and often their families are put under great stress by the distances and separation involved when a loved one becomes unwell,” she said. 

Rosemary is encouraging others to support the service financially if they can. “Access to good quality healthcare needs to be available to everyone in Australia. We need the RFDS for everyone – and one day it might be you or your family member.”

If you would like to start regular donations, like Rosemary, you can call our friendly Supporter Relations team on 1300 669 569 or click the button below.