Rebecca Tomkinson

Graphic: Rebecca Tomkinson

Farewell message from RFDS Western Operations CEO Rebecca Tomkinson

Date published

30 Sep 2022

This will be my final message as CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Western Australia to our wonderful supporters far and wide across our State, nationally and worldwide.

Graphic: RT

It has been a life-changing journey for me to be part of this extraordinary organisation and I am so proud of the service we provide to our patients with your support and the dedication of our crews.

Since joining the RFDS in 2018, our service has grown and adapted to meet the needs of Western Australians when they have needed us most.

Although almost 100 years old, the RFDS continues to be a modern, innovative organisation that is driven by its original purpose of offering a ‘mantle of safety’ for people in the bush.

Graphic: RT helicopters

During my time at the RFDS, we have introduced two new aircraft types – Pilatus PC-24 jets and EC-145 helicopters – both national firsts for the RFDS. 

The Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets have halved flight times on long-haul routes across the State since their introduction in 2018.

The RFDS Fortescue Heli-Med Service introduced in May this year is providing faster, smoother journeys for patient transfers from locations such as Northam, Jurien Bay, Bunbury and Narrogin. 

The helicopters enable patients to be transferred direct to the heli-decks of Perth’s major hospitals.

Graphic: Rio jets

Innovations like these take huge effort, commitment and courage. 

They also require the trust of supporters like you and I thank you for believing in the importance of our essential service.

As I reflect on my RFDS journey, I am most proud of our people. As an RFDS supporter, you can share my pride in the incredible skill, determination and commitment of the 400 people who make up the RFDS team in WA. 

Our crews live and work in the communities we serve and, as CEO, I have been determined to ensure we invest in our greatest asset – our people – through professional development, safety and a healthy work culture.


As I prepare to depart the RFDS, I give my commitment to you that I will continue to work to improve the lives of regional Western Australians. 

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to meet the extraordinary variety of people who support the RFDS in WA. 

Together, we have helped ensure the RFDS has a clear flight path for the future and I am incredibly grateful for your support.

I hope you are as proud of our achievements as I am.

Best wishes

Rebecca Tomkinson
Chief Executive Officer
Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations