Leave a lasting legacy in support of the RFDS

Date published

07 Sep 2021

The RFDS is a trusted source of healthcare in many remote Western Australian communities where we have an established range of clinics over almost a century. Today, the RFDS' roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines has prompted many memories of the 'Sugarbird Lady' - RFDS nurse and pilot Robin Miller who delivered about 40,000 polio vaccines across the Pilbara and Kimberley in the late 1960s.


In 1928, John Flynn's dream of starting an aeromedical retrieval service to provide the finest care to the furthest corners of Australia became a reality thanks to a generous gift in Will. 

As always, patient care remains at the heart of everything the Royal Flying Doctor Service do. 

"Last year, we helped fly more than 10,000 Western Australians to safety with the best possible care," RFDS WA Fundraising and Philanthropy Manager Matthew Correia said. 

"It takes our whole community to bring medical care to those who need it." 

A gift in your Will to the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA helps the not-for-profit organisation continue to save lives for generations to come.  

Robin Miller

A Life of Service 

Renowned WA pilot and nurse Robin Miller gave her life to the service of others. 

Ms Miller believed that anyone, no matter where they lived, should have access to essential healthcare. 

The daughter of two prominent Western Australians - author and historian Dame Mary Durack and Captain Horrie Miller - Robin travelled across northern WA to bring modern medicine to remote communities. 

She was nicknamed the 'Sugarbird Lady' by outback Aboriginal children during her work combatting polio. 

Ms Miller made 450 visits to remote communities, flying nearly 70,000km to deliver more than 37,000 polio vaccine doses on sugar cubes. 

Passing away in December 1975 aged 35 and laid to rest in Broome, Robin's legacy lives on in the RFDS WA's current work administering COVID-19 vaccinations to Western Australians living in regional and remote communities. 

RFDS COVID vaccinations

So far, the RFDS in Western Australia has administered more than 3,800 COVID-19 vaccines across the vast and remote Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest, Goldfields regions. 

Crews on the frontline of the service's 24-hour emergency service continue to airlift on average 27 patients a day to safety from anywhere across WA, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. 

"Your support really does make a difference to our aeromedical charity, enabling us to benefit all who live, work and travel across WA," Mr Correia said. 

We would love to speak to you confidentially about your decision and to answer any questions you may have. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with RFDS WA Fundraising and Philanthropy Manager Matthew Correia on fundraise@rfdswa.com.au or (08) 9417 6400 

BHP workforce
vacc team
remote clinic set up