RFDS Tasmania – Education Program Overview

The RFDS Tasmania Education Program runs from Kinder through year twelve and beyond, incorporating opportunities for students engaged in higher education.  The aim of the program is twofold; to raise awareness of who we are and what we do and to achieve our overall goal of improving health knowledge and outcomes.

In the Primary School setting we offer opportunities for in-class and excursion based learning.  Teachers in registered schools are offered a variety of web based activities, curriculum units, and supporting resources for use in their classrooms.  All resources are linked to the Australian Curriculum and are complete with cross curricular links, standards of achievement, lesson plans, assessment tasks and assessment evaluation tools.  They are designed to be ready to use.  In addition to the in class learning we also offer two excursion opportunities.  Registered schools are invited to visit our base in Launceston where students are able to participate in a variety of hands on activities depending on their level.  The second excursion opportunity is our Education Simulator which currently visits from Victoria.  The interactive aeromedical simulator is a life sized replica of the fuselage of a flying doctor plane.  It is fully equipped with stretchers and the medical equipment used daily and includes a cock pit with a flight simulator.  Students hear the stories and history of the RFDS and are able to climb on board and pretend to take on a role from patient, to doctor/nurse/paramedic, to pilot.

Our program for secondary schools differs depending on the level, and is divided into years 7-10 and senior.  Junior and Middle Secondary are currently offered experiences within their Careers Education framework.  Working in a diverse multifaceted organisation we have a variety of career paths on offer.  This makes the RFDS an attractive invitee to careers days where we present talks and run hands on activities. 
Schools with senior secondary year levels and colleges are offered the opportunity to participate in our Senior Health Studies Presentations.  This presentation is based on The Senior Health Studies Curriculum, Unit 3; Health in Australia.  The presentation details health issues in rural and remote areas of Australia, investigates the disparity between health outcomes in these areas and outlines the work the Royal Flying Doctor Service is doing to minimise these inequities.

Tertiary students in Tasmania, undertaking further education in related areas, are invited to participate in our scholarship program.  We currently sponsor 6 scholarships; The Fred McKay Scholarship provides a final year medical student with a 4 week placement with the RFDS, The Robin Miller RFDS Nursing Scholarship provides a two week placement in Port Augusta to a final year nursing student, The John Flynn Dental Assistant Scholarship provides a two week placement for dental assistants who are studying a Certificate III with TasTAFE and three Commercial Travellers Association (CTA) Student Scholarships which provide 4th year medical students from rural or remote areas with financial assistance to undertake their practical placement.

Non-school based organisations are also invited to access our education programs, with After School Care and Vacation Care programs accessing holiday programs on offer. 
Currently under development are programs for children wishing to engage in independent learning.  It is envisaged that over time, these will evolve into a kids club which will utilise technology and incorporate real life and life like challenges and activity days.

The Look! Up in the Sky educational program developed by RFDS Victoria has taken flight in Tasmanian primary schools.

Students boarding the RFDS aeromedical simulator

The resource aimed at grades 3 - 6 provides students with a comprehensive look at the significant contribution that the RFDS has made to Australia's history and its relevance to all Australians today.

The online program was developed by RFDS Victoria and is based on the RFDS core values of respect, teamwork, leadership, fairness and compassion.

The resource uses the iconic status of the RFDS and its real life stories to teach students about the unique nature of the Australian landscape and how distance and isolation can affect those who live, work and travel in rural and remote areas.

The program builds on school community awareness of the organisation and pays tribute to its past and present work.

The Tasmanian Educational Consultant visits schools to share information with teachers to provide learning ideas that link directly to the mandated Australian Curriculum.

The Program Manager, Education, RFDS Victoria visits Tasmanian schools with the interactive educational simulator to bring the program to life through fun engagement sessions. The simulator is a life-sized replica of the fuselage of the flying doctor aircraft.

Students hear fascinating stories about the RFDS and then climb on board, strap themselves in and enjoy a unique experience where they 'rescue' a patient and 'land' an RFDS aircraft in the Outback.

RFDS Victoria provides support to deliver the program and lift the profile of the service in Tasmanian primary schools and their parent communities.

Visit to register for the free online educational program.