3 men are standing in front of an RFDS aircraft. Liane's father is on the right hand-side leaning against the plane. The image is in black and white.

Following in her father’s footsteps

Date published

21 Jul 2022

Western Queenslander Liane Spencer has a lifelong connection with The Flying Doctor, working as the Charleville Base Manager, metres away from the hangar that her father serviced RFDS aircrafts for more than 30 years.

Liane Spencer has blonde hair and is wearing a navy RFDS uniform smiling at the camera.

Liane grew up spending time in the Trans Australia Airline (TAA) hangar where her father, Gordon Fraser, worked as an ‘innovator’ servicing the planes that assist in many aeromedical rescues keeping rural Queenslanders safe and within reach of medical assistance.

“In dad’s days, engineering was officially outsourced to Trans Australia, meaning Gordon not only did the maintenance on the Fokker Friendships for TAA but also the Flying Doctor planes as well, often having to fly to remote locations to get the crew back in the air.

“He was however an RFDS man at heart, forming many strong friendships with the RFDS staff. So many of my early memories are spending time with him in the hangar, and him telling me about how much he enjoyed his time with the organisation and instilling in me his love of aircraft” Liane said.

IMAGE: Katrina Lehmann

“When the opportunity to work for the RFDS came along I knew I had to take it, and I love coming to work every day and seeing that the special impact he had on the community in Charleville is honoured.”

Acting as the glue that holds the Charleville Base together, Liane works with what she believes are some of the smartest people - Doctors, Nurses and Engineers - and they treat her with the utmost respect, knowing that her role is just as important to theirs.

The handwritten note by Liane's father, Gordon Fraser, in blue ink.

A handwritten note from Gordon shows the extent that he had to go to, to ensure that the aircrafts were fit for travelling.

“It’s mind blowing to see the changes that have happened over the years between dad’s time and now – the RFDS of today has world-class engineers and technology, but back in his day, they had to innovate and work with what they could to keep the aircraft running during the weeks it took to get parts in.

“I’m just very pleased that the one consistent between dad’s time and mine, is that the incredible team culture has still stayed the same. Working for the RFDS is by far the best job in town, there is so much diversity in daily tasks, plus I work alongside the smartest people who all treat each other with incredible amounts of respect.” Liane said.

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