The red bottom of a jet aircraft as seen from the ground. RFDS is pained in white writing.

Graphic: The red bottom of a jet aircraft as seen from the ground. RFDS is pained in white writing.

Cowell volunteers raise $3,600 for Flying Doctor

Date published

03 Sep 2019

A dedicated group of local volunteers has raised $3,600 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), representing their fundraising efforts with the support of the Cowell community over the past year.

“The Flying Doctor lands twice a day on the Eyre Peninsula to airlift patients to Adelaide for life-saving surgery or specialist medical treatment,” says Rhonda Atkinson, President of the Cowell & District RFDS Support Group. “Over the past year alone, the RFDS has landed every week in Cowell and Cummins.”

“Those of us living in the country are all too familiar with the tyranny of distance and the importance of access to specialist care in times of medical emergency,” Mrs Atkinson says.

“The RFDS provides this vital access, not to just for those of us living in Cowell and district, but to more than 15 South Australians every day – in the outback, from the regions and in the city alike,” he says.

Since last year’s donation the RFDS has introduced to operational service the RFDS Medi-Jet 24, South Australia’s first purpose-built aeromedical jet. The $13 million aircraft was funded solely by bequests, sponsorships and donations from the community.

RFDS aircraft flies over green paddocks.

“We feel very humbled to have played our part with others in raising the funds for the RFDS to purchase the ultimate ‘flying intensive care unit’, capable of slashing total mission times of long-haul patient evacuations from the outback or interstate to specialist medical care,” Mrs Atkinson says.  

“I extend my sincere thanks to every member of the Cowell & District RFDS Support Group for their hard work and commitment, and to our local community for their on-going support of our fundraising activities. So much can be achieved when people work together for a common goal,” she says.

Mrs Atkinson presented a $3,600 donation to Lindy Allchurch, Volunteer Coordinator of RFDS Central Operations, at the group’s AGM on 2 September.

“This year’s donation takes the group’s total contribution to the Flying Doctor to $70,000 since it began fundraising in 2006, which is a remarkable achievement,” Ms Allchurch says. 

“The latest donation, like those before, will be used to help meet the shortfall in our operational funding and to finance our capital-raising program for the purchase of our ‘flying intensive care units’ – the next to arrive late this year,” Ms Allchurch says.  

“On behalf of everyone at RFDS – and the thousands of South Australians we airlift every year – we offer our heartfelt thanks for your hard work and service to your local community,” Ms Allchurch said.

Enquiries to get involved with Cowell & District RFDS Support Group are always welcome. 

Contact Rhonda Atkinson, President, Cowell & District RFDS Support Group, on 0429 804 857.