RFDS Meritorious Service Awards 2021

RFDS volunteers awarded for exceptional service

Date published

25 Feb 2022

At the end of 2021, RFDS Central Operations was honoured to present four Meritorious Service Awards, which recognise exceptional service by volunteers to the Flying Doctor.

Noel and Ruth Linsell

Firstly, we acknowledged the hard work and dedication of Noel and Ruth Linsell, the husband and wife team from the RFDS Port Lincoln Auxiliary. The couple has been actively involved with the RFDS for almost 20 years, holding leadership rol­­es, offering their home for meetings, and storing much of the group’s gear at their property.

Whenever needed, Ruth creates and coordinates catering for a range of functions – she can often be found in the group’s ''donut van'' or at Bunnings’ sausage sizzles selling badges and raffle tickets. While Noel’s health has seen him step back recently, he is also known for his unwavering passion and dedication to the RFDS, volunteering his time morning to night, for fundraising initiatives.

Photo: Noel and Ruth Linsell with RFDS's Lindy Allchurch.

In Millicent, the RFDS presented an award to John Chalmers and the late John Clarke (represented on the day by the Clarke family) for their contributions to the Millicent & District RFDS Support Group.

Joining in 1997, John Chalmers was an inaugural member of the group, taking on the role of Vice President – a key role, as the group’s President worked full time. In 2006, he officially stepped into the role as President and spent 14 years at the helm before retiring.

Instrumental in organising many major fundraisers for the group such as bowling and golf days, wood raffles, open gardens and trivia nights, Chalmers has been at the forefront of the group from its first days, ably assisting with raising over $460,000 over the last 25 years.

RFDS's Charlie Paterson and John Chalmers
Photo: RFDS's Charlie Paterson and John Chalmers.

The Clarke family attended the event to accept a Meritorious Award on behalf of their late husband and father, John Clarke.

Living on the land for much of his life, Clarke got involved with fundraising after his young grandson required the Flying Doctor’s urgent assistance.

After joining the Group in 2008, Clarke assumed the role of Treasurer the following year, a position he held for the next decade.

Among many contributions, Clarke put a great deal of time and effort into expanding the Donation Tin program, making it an important source of revenue for the group.

Clarke truly was a dedicated RFDS volunteer who is greatly missed by all.

RFDS's Charlie Paterson and the Clarke family
Photo: RFDS's Charlie Paterson and the Clarke family.

There are 24 volunteer RFDS Support Groups spanning South Australia and the Northern Territory. Find out more about our groups from Lindy Allchurch on (08) 8238 3333 or lindy.allchurch@flyingdoctor.net.