Graphic: Chae in cockpit
Chae Weidner, an 11-year-old Cairns resident, met some of his heroes at a special tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) base.
With the dream of living in the outback when he grows up, Chae first learned of the Flying Doctor when the service saved his uncle’s life, after the man was bitten by a deadly snake on a fishing trip.
The tour is a dream come true for Chae, who, with his nana’s permission, entered a competition held by RFDS partner, Ergon Energy Retail.
In his winning entry, Chae wrote: “I know how important the RFDS is to farmers and travellers in the country. My family goes camping and fishing in the country and on farm stations, one day, we might need help.”
RFDS (Queensland Section) Cairns Nurse Manager, Leanne Hill, thanked Ergon Energy Retail for helping to realise Chae’s dream.
“Last year, Ergon Energy Retail held a competition to offer customers the chance to win an exclusive tour of one of the Flying Doctor’s eight aeromedical bases in Queensland,” she said.
“With more than 450 entries across the state, it must have been difficult to choose just three tour recipients, and I couldn’t be happier with our local winner.
“As a service nearing 100-years of operation, it’s heart-warming to see new generations still look up to the skies and appreciate the impact the Flying Doctor has on the lives of locals,” she said.
Chae will be joined by his family; his grandmother, Carmen, who said she was thrilled her grandson was being given the chance to tour.
“Chae loves his time out exploring rural and remote parts of Queensland, so his uncle’s lifesaving experience has really stayed with him,” she said.
“He’s been very excited about the tour and meeting all the real-life doctors, nurses and pilots of the RFDS.”
Ergon Energy Retail Executive General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said it was wonderful to see such passion continue to transcend each generation.
“Chae’s wish to meet the team and tour the base really demonstrates the positive impact the RFDS has on providing vital medical services to our customers and communities in regional Queensland,” she said.