Working in SA&NT

Ray and Vicki

RFDS Central Operations covers South Australia and the lower half of the Northern Territory. We operate three aeromedical bases in Adelaide, Port Augusta and Alice Springs, as well as three health facilities located in Marree, Andamooka and Marla. We also operate two tourist facilities one in Darwin and one in Alice Springs.

We have 200 staff in Central Operations working within the following areas:

  • Health Services
  • Aviation / Engineering / Operations
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • People & Culture
  • Corporate Services
  • Administration

Employee Benefits

Working for Australia's most trusted charity also comes with a wide range of benefits and incentives which include:

  • Competitive remuneration packages
  • Ability to salary sacrifice, reducing your taxable income
  • Remote allowances for working in rural and remote areas
  • On-going training and professional development opportunities
  • Relocation assistance, settling in accommodation (for eligible employees)
  • Comprehensive orientation program
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Scholarships (including Midwifery) - RFDS Central Operations (SA & NT) are not currently offering external Scholarships.  Any future opportunities will be advertised on our website.

Flight Nurse

Our People


Central Operations provides 24/7 emergency aeromedical, essential primary health care and health education services throughout the rural and remote areas of South Australia and the lower half of the Northern Territory.

The employment roles comprise:

  • Medical Practitioners based in Port Augusta;
  • Flight Nurses based across Adelaide, Port Augusta and Alice Springs;
  • Remote Area Nurses based at our Health Services in Marree, Andamooka and Marla ;
  • Community Health Nurses based at Port Augusta;
  • Aboriginal Health Workers and Aboriginal Liaison Officers based in Port Augusta and Alice Springs;
  • Project Advisors/Officers located in Adelaide;
  • Lifestyle Advisors based in Adelaide; and
  • Mental Health Clinicians based in Alice Springs.
nurse on the tarmac

Services Provided

They provide the following comprehensive medical services:

  • 24-hour emergency aeromedical evacuations and retrievals - Medical Practitioners, Pilots and Flight Nurses work on a rotating roster which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Primary health care clinics to rural and remote areas;
  • Statewide inter-hospital transfer service (in South Australia);
  • Facilitation of allied health services (ie physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy etc);
  • Oral Health Program throughout remote SA;
  • Radio and telephone medical consultations;
  • Provision of Medical Chests; 
  • Provision of First Aid Courses and,
  • Health promotion and education services.


Aviation / Engineering / Operations

Central Operations operate 15 Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Seven aircraft are based in Alice Springs and four each in Adelaide and Port Augusta. These turbo-prop aircraft have excellent range and weight carrying capability which provides outstanding flexibility. They are generally configured to carry two stretchered patients at a time with seating for a Doctor, a Flight Nurse and an additional seated patient. Central Operations has ordered a new Pilatus PC-24 aeromedical jet scheduled for delivery in 2017-18. The jet will considerably enhance operations by halving the distance of long-haul flights and adding a three stretcher capability to our aircraft. We have 34 pilots at Central Operations with 11 based in Adelaide, seven in Port Augusta and 14 in Alice Springs.



We have around 20 engineers and engineering support staff working on all of our engineering needs in house. While there is some engineering at Alice Springs and Port Augusta, heavy engineering at Central Operations is conducted at the Adelaide Base.

Engineering has adopted a Progressive Maintenance Plan which enhances our aircraft online capability. This enables some maintenance to be carried out in a more selective timeframe, at times which fit in best with operational requirements.

Operations Control Centre (Communications)

In our Port Augusta Base we have our state of the art Operations Control Centre is home to our 12 RFDS Operations Coordinators. Operations Coordinators are the heartbeat of communications at Central Operations and receive emergency calls, plan and assign aircraft and crews to emergency retrievals, inter-hospital transfers and remote clinic flights from bases in Adelaide, Alice Springs and Port Augusta.

Behind the scenes these teams help keep RFDS Central Operations flying....


Marketing & Public Relations

The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on donations and fundraising initiatives to purchase and medically-equip it aircraft - at a cost of more than $7 million each. Consequently, maintaining a consistent public profile and fundraising are integral parts of RFDS' lifeline.Our fundraising role includes major events such as our annual Wings for Life Ball and assistance with third-party fundraising events. We coordinate our volunteers who are part of 24 Auxiliaries and Support Groups who raise funds for us. We also work with the corporate community to support the work of the RFDS in fundraising and partnerships in support of the work of the RFDS Central Operations.

People & Culture

The People & Culture team provides a range of people-focused services to RFDS management and staff including; employee relations, recruitment and selection, on-boarding, learning and development, performance, safety, quality, risk and policy development and implementation.

The P & C team also manage and implement a variety of initiatives and projects that promote fairness and equity in the workplace whilst continuing to support business goals. The Safety Quality & Risk component promotes interest and action in health, safety, quality and risk in the workplace.

Corporate Services - Finance & Information Technology 

The Corporate Services team has responsibility for providing efficient and effective financial support and service for Central Operations.Their portfolio encompasses financial and insurance risk management, accounting, debtor and creditor control and the payroll function.The State, Commonwealth and Territory Governments together contribute to the operational (day to day) costs of running the RFDS. Our Information Technology needs are also serviced in-house.

Student Placements

We offer a highly successful student placement program with unique opportunities for students to work alongside, and learn, from highly trained and experienced professionals in their chosen field.

Read more

Volunteer Positions

There are many ways to help support the RFDS with your time or skills and the RFDS is always very grateful to receive assistance from volunteers. Many opportunities, for all ages and for all skill levels.

Read more

Learn more about what it's like to work for RFDS Central Operations

Meet the Team: Heather - Line Pilot

We catch up with Alice Springs Line Pilot, Heather Ford, one of the newest members of the RFDS family.

Meet the Team: Carol-Ann - Mental Health Nurse

We talk to Mental Health Nurse Carol-Ann Stanborough about her role with the Flying Doctor