Local Hero Awards

RFDS Local Hero Awards

Congratulations to Cape York local, Emma Jackson, on being named the 2022 RFDS Queensland Hero!

Emma lives with her family on Wolverton Station in the Archer River region of Cape York and was nominated for her help in saving Karryn Dolan’s life after she suffered a ‘widow-maker’ heart attack last year on the Jackson’s property.

With the nearest hospital hundreds of kilometers away, Emma used a defibrillator machine and performed CPR for an hour.

Karryn was taken by ambulance to Coen and stabilised by an RFDS crew who then flew her to Cairns, where thanks to Emma’s bravery and never-give-up spirit, she made a full recovery.

Now, Emma plans on using the $20,000 Ergon Energy Retail grant she’s won to create an equine assisted learning program to improve the health and wellbeing of Cape York children.

The Flying Doctor congratulates and thanks all RFDS Local Hero Award winners; without them and the help of our kind supporters like you, the RFDS would not be able to take off.

You can watch Emma’s story, and all our 2022 RFDS Local Hero videos, below.

2022 Nominees

RFDS Local Hero Emma Jackson

Emma Jackson - Cairns Region

In late December last year, Emma’s friend Karryn Dolan and her husband Peter were visiting the station when Karryn suffered a ‘widow-maker’ heart attack.

With the town of Coen more than an hour’s drive away, and the nearest hospital hundreds of kilometres away, Emma used the defibrillator machine on the property and performed CPR for an hour to help Peter bring his wife back to life.

Karryn was taken by ambulance to Coen where the RFDS stabilised her and flew her to Cairns Base Hospital where, thanks to Emma’s bravery and never-give-up spirit, she made a full recovery.

RFDS Local Hero Richard Greatorex

Richard Greatorex - Bundaberg Region

Goodwood Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Richard Greatorex has played an integral role in keeping his community safe, by saving many lives and properties in Woodgate and surrounding areas over the past three decades.

When Richard’s not out fighting fires, he’s conducting safety training, completing maintenance on fire trucks and equipment, or volunteering with the State Emergency Service (SES).

Minutes can mean the difference between life and death, so having volunteers like Richard in small towns is vital, as they are often the first on scene and can provide immediate assistance while they await the arrival of other emergency services.

RFDS Local Hero Einasleigh Clinic Ladies

Einasleigh Clinic Ladies - Townsville Region

Deb and Fran provide vital support to their community and the RFDS clinic whenever it comes to town – ensuring the clinic is set up, helping the RFDS staff get to and from the local airstrip with their equipment, and even serving tea and homemade scones for staff and patients to enjoy.

RFDS Local Hero Nell and David Brook

Nell and David Brook - Charleville Region

Nell and David Brook are an integral part of the Birdsville community and have dedicated much of their lives to supporting their region. Their inspiring efforts help to ensure their family, community, and those travelling through, can continue to access vital services, including healthcare.

Each year at the Birdsville Races, through their roles with the Birdsville Race Club, the pair also support the RFDS to raise funds. Over the past 50 years, along with the club’s committee, Nell and David have helped raise more than $500,000 for the Flying Doctor.

RFDS Local Hero Jericho Road Clothing

Jericho Road Clothing - Longreach Region

Growing up on a cattle station just outside of Blackall, Kate and Chloe have experienced firsthand the importance of the RFDS for families living in remote locations. The Flying Doctor came to the aid of their dad, Les, who was injured after being knocked over by a cow while unloading cattle at the local saleyards.

With most of their designs influenced by Australian flora or fauna, and a strong connection to the bush, Kate and Chloe knew they always wanted to give back to communities like the one where they grew up. Through their ‘Outback Skies’ fundraiser they’ve done just that — helping the RFDS to provide services to those living in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

RFDS Local Hero Meredith Lovegrove

Meredith Lovegrove - Brisbane Region

Today, Meredith is a Senior Midwifery Advisor which sees her develop and deliver important educational midwifery resources and, vitally, provide telehealth support during imminent births.

Watching the birth unfold, Meredith keeps everyone calm, encourages the mother, provides the midwife or nurse on the ground with additional support and, briefs them before the RFDS arrives if the mother or baby need further care.

RFDS Local Hero Barbara Clarke

Barbara Clarke - Mount Isa Region

Since moving to Dajarra 46 years ago, Barbara Clarke has proudly raised her children, helped to raise her grandchildren, as well as many foster children, and has become a healthcare champion in her small community.

Each time the Flying Doctor is in town — whether it is the RFDS Dental Service or the Primary Health Care Clinic — Barbara makes sure her family, grandchildren and the community are accessing the services and attending their regular check-ups.

Barbara’s commitment to encouraging her family and others to utilise these vital preventative healthcare services, ultimately helps to improve the health outcomes of her whole community.

RFDS Local Hero Genevieve Rogers

Genevieve Rogers - Roma Region

Living in Roma, Gen Rogers has always understood the importance of services such as the Flying Doctor in communities like hers.

But at only seven weeks old, Gen’s daughter Hollie became seriously ill with RSV, and experienced the life-saving service firsthand. Hollie was flown by the RFDS to Brisbane for urgent care.

Today, Hollie is fighting fit, and Gen shares her story to raise awareness about the potential dangers of RSV, as well as raise funds for the Flying Doctor in her community.

For further information, please contact localhero@rfdsqld.com.au

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