Audio Resources

Graphic: RFDS New Horizons

RFDS New Horizons: Beyond the Pandemic is a wellbeing tool for the RFDS community to help manage the current phase of COVID-19 with resilience, compassion and courage. 

We're holding space for healthy and real conversations about the valuable lessons we learned through COVID and some tools and advice we can utilise today to make the transition out of the pandemic, a much smoother ride.

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Graphic: Two men chatting whilst holding cups of tea.

Having conversations about mental health

This episode focusses on how to have a conversation with someone if you are concerned about their mental health.

It offers practical tips for how to approach the conversation, and why it is important to do so.

This podcast episode is the latest in our Small Talk, Big Difference campaign.

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Graphic: Two men chatting whilst holding cups of tea.

Communication is key to maintaining positive personal and professional relationships. 

In this episode, Senior Mental Health Clinician Sharyn Bunn explores why healthy communication can be hard to achieve.

By thinking about how we communicate, we can improve the effectiveness of our communication skills.

The episode of our Small Talk, Big Difference campaign explains how to better communicate, providing useful information to either help yourself or a loved one.

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Graphic: The legs of two farmers standing in a field

Almost everyone uses drugs on a reasonably frequent basis. For example, paracetamol, alcohol, tobacco or even caffeine. 

Approximately 70% of Australians use drugs without a problem.

But what can you do if substance use is negatively impacting on your life or someone that you know?

This episode of our Small Talk, Big Difference campaign explores drug and alcohol harm minimisation, providing useful information to either help yourself or a loved one.

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Graphic: RFDS Flight Nurse, Medical Officer and Pilot with an aircraft

The holiday season is a joyous occasion but can be a difficult time for those struggling with mental health concerns.

Often, your GP or local health centre can be a good place to start, offering direct support and linking you to professionals who can help you through the hard times.

Learn more in this episode of our Small Talk, Big Difference campaign, which provides information and resources to help support mental health and wellbeing.

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Graphic: James Williams and Justine Powell who met and fell in love while servicing remote Queensland communities

This time of year can provide a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with a loved one. 

Building a loving relationship, or repairing one, takes time, effort and commitment. 

Learn about the processes which are detrimental to intimacy and vitality and receive practical advice to nurture your relationships. 

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Graphic: Dr Tim Driscoll

Learning the art of saying ‘no’ can help manage feelings of being stressed and overwhelmed with life. 

If you are always running on empty and find it difficult to say ‘no,’ then Dr Tim Driscoll from the RFDS Outback Mental Health team has some simple strategies that could help you manage daily demands, reduce your stress and improve your overall wellbeing.

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Graphic: Alarm clock and book

Sleeping is something we all do, but it’s not always as simple as hopping into bed and nodding off.

For some, catching forty winks can be tricky and not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep can seriously affect our mental health.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to get a better night's sleep!

In this episode, Cath Walker, a Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant for the RFDS (Queensland Section), discusses how to sleep better. 

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Graphic: RFDS Queensland logo

Chatting to friends and family can seem like second nature to some of us, but for others it can be difficult, and even more so during the pandemic. 

Technology has changed the way we communicate and is helping us stay connected, especially for those living in rural and remote Australia. From family friendly games to voice activated messaging, there is something for everyone to stay in touch. 

Belinda Challis who is the ICT Service Manager for the RFDS talks tech, security and all you need to know to keep safe and connected during the pandemic.

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Graphic: Sharyn Bunn

Relaxing is not something we think about when we are stressed and overwhelmed, but taking some time out of your day to be mindful and present can actually help reduce burn out. 

In this episode, Sharyn Bunn, a Senior Mental Health Clinician for the RFDS, explains how to practice relaxation techniques, make time in your busy day and other ways to quiet your mind.

It might surprise you to find out how simple changes can make a big difference to your productivity, sleep and general wellbeing.

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Graphic: RFDS aircraft at dawn preparing for flight

In Queensland, the RFDS employs 400 of the most highly skilled professionals, from pilots to doctors, flight nurses, engineers and beyond.

They keep 20 aircraft running across nine bases. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, delivering the finest care to more than 290,000 people each year, that's one every two minutes.

This episode provides updates on the latest innovation, success and people at the RFDS as well as offering a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day operations of our Service and what it takes to keep the doctor flying!

Kids of Queensland

Kids questions on Coronavirus answered

Everyone knows that kids like to ask questions, and the topic of Coronavirus is no exception!

So, we thought we’d answer a few of them with the help of RFDS (Queensland Section) Head Medical Consultant Dr Katie Clift.

Thanks to eight-year-old Ellie from Brisbane, Harry from Rockhampton, 15-year-old Scott and 12-year-olds Max and Charlie from Wrotham Park Station as well as five-year-old Ellie and nine-year-old Robert from Gilberton Station for their questions.

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Graphic: Dr Tim Driscoll

COVID-19: How to protect your mental health

As the numbers of people testing positive for Coronavirus rise around the world, so too are many people’s anxiety levels. So how can you protect your mental health and that of your family, friends and colleagues as we deal with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? Dr Tim Driscoll, the Clinical Lead for the RFDS (Queensland Section) Outback Mental Health Team, has some valuable tips and advice.

If you or anyone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact them via their website.

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Dr Katie Clift

COVID-19: Advice for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders

In this episode, Dr Katie Clift, Head Medical Consultant for the RFDS (Queensland Section), provides useful information about COVID-19 and what steps you should be taking if you're living or working in a regional, rural or remote area.

*This episode is intended for general information only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns, consult your local GP or health professional.

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RFDS Queensland logo

Routes to the Runway: Ep 5, Saving up to take off with the RFDS

Terry Latchman is one of the RFDS (Queensland Section) pilots in Rockhampton.

He always wanted to fly, but actually went to university to study mechanical engineering. 

He dropped out before gaining his degree and then spent years working in a completely unrelated field before saving up the money to gain his pilot’s licence. 

He’s now been with the RFDS for five and a half years. This is his story.

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David Keavy and his plane in the RFDS hangar

Routes to the Runway: Ep 4, From long haul to life-saving

David started his career on a property in the Gulf Country of North West Queensland, mustering cattle — flying at high speeds only 10-50 feet off the ground with no help from technology.

His varied career in aviation has also seen him work as a Coast Watch Pilot on Thursday Island and later spend 20 years flying long haul for Qantas before flying for Air Vanuatu.

He’s now the Senior Base Pilot in Mount Isa for the RFDS (Queensland Section). This is his story.

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Steve Wallace on the Brisbane runway beside his plane.

Routes to the Runway: Ep 3, From banker to senior base pilot

The RFDS is home to some of the most highly regarded pilots in the world. Their skill and expertise are second to none, but many of them didn’t start their careers in aviation. 

Many of them have had very successful careers in completely unrelated fields. One of them is Brisbane Senior Base Pilot, Steve Wallace, who had a 10-year career in banking before deciding to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. 

He's now been with the Flying Doctor for just as long! Edwina Stott sat down with him to hear his route to the runway.

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Victoria Harrison in the cockpit

Routes to the Runway: Ep 2, From RAAF to RFDS

The Routes to the Runway Series from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) podcast provides insight into the lives of some of the most highly skilled and experienced pilots in the world.

In this episode, you’ll hear Victoria Harrison’s story. Victoria was only the 10th female pilot to graduate into the Royal Australian Air Force. 

She spent 18 years flying VIPs out of Canberra, then went on to fly Caribou aircraft in Timor and Papua New Guinea, before becoming a flying instructor. 

She’s now a pilot for the RFDS (Queensland Section) in Townsville and this years marks her 10th anniversary with the organisation. 

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RFDS Queensland pilot, Nick Tully has been with the service for 6 years.

Routes to the Runway: Ep 1, Flying home to Charleville

In the Routes to the Runway series*, you’ll hear some of our pilot's stories and find out what it's like to fly for the Service.

Charleville Senior Base Pilot, Nick Tully grew up on a station between Quilpie and Windorah in Western Queensland and as one of 10 children, the Flying Doctor was frequently called upon.

Nick now flies for the Service in Charleville, close to where he grew up and often flies people he’s known his whole life.

Edwina Stott sat down with Nick to hear more of his story and what it’s like to fly for the Service.

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Traeger in 1929 with his pedal powered radio

How Alfred Traeger gave the outback its voice

In the late 1920’s Alfred Traeger invented the pedal powered radio which revolutionised communication in the outback and became integral to the founding of the RFDS.

In this episode you'll hear the story behind its invention. Traeger's daughter Anne Smallwood shares an insight into his creative, innovative nature and quirky parenting style and you'll also hear from Betty Marchant who remembers using the pedal powered radio for the now famous 'Galah Sessions'.

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A lady in remote Queensland using a medical chest

The outback's lifesaving chemist in a box

The Flying Doctor in Queensland can be with a patient anywhere in the state within two hours by air. Sometimes though, even a couple of hours isn't quick enough. 

That's when the RFDS medical chest becomes an essential tool for living remotely. 

The chest can provide lifesaving medication while patients wait for the Service to arrive and is also used in non-urgent cases enabling doctors to prescribe medication from one of the 1,200 chemist-like boxes dotted around the state.

In this episode Edwina Stott chats with Annette Saleta, the State Services Coordinator in Queensland as well as with Betty from Eromanga and Trevor from SeaSwift who use the Service both on land and sea!

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Greg King in front of the RFDS aircraft

Queensland's longest serving remote RFDS pilot hangs up his wings

Greg King is the Royal Flying Doctor’s longest-serving remote pilot in Queensland.

He’s flown more than 1.6 million nautical miles — which is the equivalent of four return trips to the moon!

Now, after almost 20 years in Mount Isa, he’s hanging up his wings and heading out of town.

Edwina Stott caught up with Greg to have a chat about his time with the Flying Doctor.

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