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. 

Around 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?

The latest podcast 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 in with professionals who can help you through the hard times.

Learn more in the latest podcast episode of our Small Talk, Big Difference campaign, which is providing 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. 

Listen here

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.

Listen here.

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 of 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 nights sleep!

Cath Walker is an RFDS Mental Health and Well-being Consultant for the RFDS (Queensland Section).

Listen here.

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. 

Sharyn Bunn is a Senior Mental Health Clinician for the RFDS, who explains how to practice relaxation techniques, how to 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.

Listen here.

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.

Listen here.

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, 7 days a week, delivering the finest care to over 290,000 people each year, that's one every two minutes.

This fortnightly podcast gives you the news on the latest innovation, success and people as well as offering a behind the scenes look at the day to day operations of our Service & what it takes to keep the doctor flying!

Listen for free from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsSpotify, online or via your favourite podcasting app.

Kids of Queensland

Kids questions on Coronavirus answered

Everyone knows that kids like to ask questions, and the topic of the 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 8yo Ellie from Brisbane, Harry from Rockhampton, 15 year old Scott and 12 yo Max and Charlie from Wrotham Park Station as well as 5yo Ellie and 9yo Robert from Gilberton Station.

Listen here.

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.

Find more information on COVID-19 here:…cov-health-alert

If you or anyone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact them via their website:…ces/crisis-chat

Listen here.

Dr Katie Clift

COVID-19 Advice for remote, rural & regional Queenslanders

Dr Katie Clift is the Head Medical Consultant for the RFDS (Queensland Section), today, she’s joining us on the podcast to give us some helpful information around COVID-19 & what steps you should be taking if you're living or working in a remote, rural or regional area.

For more information head here:…onavirus-covid-19

*This podcast 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.

Listen here.

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 5 and a half years. This is his story.

Listen here.

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 and also fly for Air Vanuatu.

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

Listen here.

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.

Listen here.

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 (Queensland Section) podcast is giving you access to some of the most highly skilled & 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 & 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 with the organization. 

Listen here.

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 & 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.

Listen here.

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 podcast 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 2 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 podcast 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 over 1.6 million nautical miles – which is the equivalent of four return trips to the moon!

Now, though after close to 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.

Listen here