Landmarks across Perth city to light up for Flying Doctor Day

Date published

12 May 2020

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has come a long way in 92 years. 

From a single leased Qantas plane in 1928, today in Western Australia, we have a fleet of 16 PC-12 turboprop aircraft and two Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet aircraft which provides a 'mantle of safety' across more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the state. 

On Flying Doctor Day, Sunday May 17, we celebrate our origin story, our past, the challenges of our present as well as our exciting future. 

This year, we're humbled to have the Flying Doctor's iconic red and blue colors light up landmarks across Perth city, in acknowledgement and appreciation of our team of doctors, flight nurses, pilots, engineers, logisticians who continue to work on the frontline of our COVID-19 response. 

Landmarks that will light up include the Matagarup Pedestrian Bridge, Mount Street Bridge, Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel and the Sky Ribbon Bridge at Tonkin and Leach Highway. 

Be sure to keep an eye out on Sunday (after sunset until midnight) and share your photos with us on Instagram or Facebook by tagging us @royalflyingdoc #rfdswa 

Before there was the Flying Doctor, there was little help for people who lived in places far from cities across Australia. 

If they were seriously injured or ill, they had to travel thousands of kilometres by horse, cart, or camel to reach a doctor! Can you imagine that?! Often, they died before reaching the urgent care they needed. 

The story and plight of stockman Jimmy Darcy who met an untimely death after falling off his horse while mustering cattle in the Kimberley region of Western Australia was the impetus for Flying Doctor founder Reverend John Flynn.  

For many years, missionary John Flynn worked on a way to bring essential healthcare to people in the outback. He was successful in setting up our aerial medical service which flew its first mission in 1928, and from there it grew to become the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia that we know today. 

Our first pilot took off from Cloncurry on 17 May 1928, flying a single engine, timber and fabric bi-plane named 'Victory' which was leased by Qantas for two shillings per mile flown! 

A massive thank you to our supporters, from city to country, for literally helping to keep us in the air!