Broome RFDS crews float a labour of love at Shinju Festival

Date published

10 Sep 2019
Keeping Flynn Flying

The distinct blue and red colours of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) were out in force at the 2019 Shinju Matsuri Festival float parade held in Broome over the weekend. 

The RFDS float, dubbed 'Keeping Flynn Flying', took the shape of the service's newest addition to its fleet - the Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet aircraft. 

RFDS Broome base administrator Tracey Beckett said the project took nearly nine months and saw staff and their families sacrificing their time off to construct and design the float to completion. 

The float was fashioned out of supplies donated by the local community, including wood, timber, bamboo and chicken wire. 

Tracey said the response the RFDS received from the community at the float parade was heart warming. 

"As we came around the corner, we received cheers and claps and people were yelling out 'thank you for saving lives'," she said. 

"Our float represents the great teamwork of our crews and also our love and long-standing commitment for the Kimberley community. We are very thankful for their ongoing support and generosity.

"A big thank you to the local businesses who helped us get this project off the ground, with donations from H & M Tracey, Bunnings, Ray White Real Estate, First National Real Estate and Broome Furnishings."

During FY18-19, RFDS Western Australia: 

  • Retrieved and provided in-flight medical care to 1,771 patients in the Kimberley region alone, averaging 34 patients per week and making it our busiest transport hub in the state; and 
  • Reached 652 patients through its GP clinics, 602 patients through dental clinics and 834 patients through nurse clinics in the Kimberley region. 
  • The RFDS conducts 94 remote GP clinics per year at Gibb River Station, Mt Barnett, Mount House, Drysdale and Doongan Stations, Mornington Wilderness Camp on the Gibb River Road and at the Indigenous communities of Djugerari, Koorabye, Kadjina, Yakanarra and in the East Kimberley. 
RFDS Broome staff at the 2019 Shinju Matsuri Festival float parade
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes - float in the making