The RFDS in SA/NT
Meet the team: Operations Support
We talk to Paula Judd, Senior Operations Support Officer, about her role with the Flying Doctor
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Hong Kong and went to school in England. My professional background is in human resources and training. I lived and worked in various countries; Canada, Hong Kong, India and the UK before moving to Australia in 2007. I lived in Sydney and Melbourne before moving to Alice Springs, where I joined the RFDS in early 2017.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Family life keeps me very busy – we have five children and three dogs. We do a lot of travelling and camping as a family – we’re determined to show our children as much of Australia as possible and want them to grow up appreciating the diversity this country has to offer.
What does your role as Senior Operations Support Officer involve?
It’s incredibly varied! My role encompasses stakeholder and community engagement, administration, facilities management and much more. In the past week alone I’ve coordinated early morning health clinic charter flights, provided a tour of our Alice Springs Base to visiting school students, organised maintenance for our fleet of vehicles and provided support to our team in Darwin.
I also coordinate our Northern Territory Mental Health team. Our team provides vital services to 32 remote communities and outstations, typically traveling by road, but flying to the furthest destinations such as Docker Riverand Alpurrurulam.
RFDS Alice Springs Base must be a unique ‘office’?
Alice Springs is a wonderful place to live and work and it’s very much a ‘hive of activity’ for the RFDS. Over 40 per cent of all primary evacuations (where a patient is airlifted from an outback location, not a hospital) conducted by the RFDS across the country depart from Alice Springs Base, transporting patients all over the country for urgent medical treatment and specialist care.
Alice Springs Base is home to seven aircraft that airlift patients across the Far North of South Australia and throughout Central Australia (and beyond), with all tasks coordinated from our Operations Communications Centre in Port Augusta.
What do you enjoy the most?
I consider myself very lucky that I interact with staff across our organisation – my role sees me in frequent contact with our pilots, medical staff, engineers and administration team.