RFDS Ambassadors

New RFDS Ambassadors to light the way for Queensland

Date published

10 Apr 2024

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) (Queensland Section) is proud to announce its latest round of inductees who have signed on to become a ‘Light the Way’ Ambassador.

Eleven incredible, community spirited Queenslanders have joined existing Ambassadors to help spread the message near and far about the Flying Doctor’s important lifesaving work.

The ‘Lighting the Way’ Ambassador program was launched last year and already boasts the likes of The Travelling Jackaroo – Sam Hughes, CEO of the Western Queensland Primary Health Network Sandy Gillies, and Far North Queensland Indigenous artist Wudarabin Snider.

The role of the Ambassador is to form an important link between the work being done by the RFDS across the state and the community the organisation serves.

RFDS Ambassadors

RFDS Chair, and current Ambassador, Georgie Somerset believes the role of the Ambassador is important as it works to connect people with people, communities with communities and the entire state with the Flying Doctor.

“The RFDS is intrinsically linked to the communities we serve, and we need people on the ground in all Queensland regions to help promote the work we do,” Ms. Somerset said.

“The RFDS is much more than an aeromedical retrieval service; we’re one of the largest Primary Health Care (PHC) providers in Australia and we’re continually innovating and expanding our services to deliver new products and programs to meet community needs.

“The Ambassador role is important in engaging across Queensland within the communities our Ambassadors live in and, in the process, identify any opportunities to provide additional services.

“I feel so fortunate to have our Ambassadors flying the flag for the organisation, helping to educate, reconnect, and deepen the special partnership we have with the communities we serve.”

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said the organisation has never been more relevant in its almost century of service.

“I’m proud of the work our people undertake daily to improve the lives of those living and travelling through some of the most remote parts of the state,” Ms. Staib said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the role of our new ‘Lighting the Way’ Ambassadors can help the RFDS deepen the special partnerships it has in the communities we serve. 

"It’s an exciting time to be at the helm of the organisation as we head towards our centenary in 2028.”

The RFDS (Queensland Section) now boasts Ambassadors from Cape York in the North to Mount Isa in the West and the Southern Downs.

                  2024 RFDS Lighting the Way Ambassadors

Prudence Barwick (Childers) – Experienced client relationship specialist with extensive knowledge of the livestock industry. Prudence has been a long-time fundraiser and advocate for RFDS services.

Ian and Jane Campbell (Brisbane) – Ian is part of a dedicated group called the Comanche Flyers that participated in the 2022 Outback Air Race, raising $75,000 for the RFDS. Jane was part of last year’s Charleville Base 80th anniversary and is a regular RFDS volunteer.

Emma Jackson (Archer River) – Emma was the 2022 RFDS Queensland Hero and operates a life changing Horse Wisdom program at remote Wolverton Station on Cape York focusing on the relationship between horses and people in the support of positive mental health outcomes.

Louise Martin (Tambo) – Past President of the Isolated Children’s Parent’s Association Queensland and current Federal President, Louise is a member of our Health Services Committee and has been a long-time advocate for the RFDS.

Tanya O’Shea (Bundaberg) – Managing Director of Impact Community Services which focuses on supporting health outcomes, upskilling and employment opportunities. Tanya has a strong connection to engaging in the work done by the RFDS across Queensland.

Steve Price OAM (Townsville) – Longtime North Queensland media personality and passionate community advocate, fundraiser, and civic leader. Steve has been involved in RFDS fundraising and awareness campaigns for decades.

Don and Lyn Rowlands (Birdsville) - Don is the sole park ranger for Munga Thirri (Simpson Desert) National Park and is a proud Wangkangurru/Yarluyandj man. Lyn has worked at the Birdsville clinic for many years and now runs a business in Birdsville. Both Don and Lyn have supported the RFDS for many years.

Daniel Walker (Longreach) – Daniel “Outback Dan” Walker and wife Brooke operate Camden Park Tours and now Longreach Station. Longreach born and bred, Daniel and Brooke's successful tourism venture shares outback life with hundreds of tourists, and now students, every year. Daniel remains a significant advocate across remote Western Queensland for the work undertaken by the RFDS.

Dalene Wray AM (Brisbane) – Managing Director OBE Organic – a certified organic beef exporter. Dalene grew up in Birdsville and has developed a business around sustainable agriculture. Dalene is also a strong mental health advocate and champions diversity and inclusion as well as the important work done by the RFDS across Queensland.