Adelaide 4WD and Adventure Show

90 Years of the Flying Doctor

The Adelaide 4WD and Adventure Show has been pleased to welcome the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the event for many years. And in 2018, it’s just a little more special, with the RFDS celebrating their 90 year anniversary of service to Australian people!

Before there was the Flying Doctor there was little medical help for people who lived in places far from cities. If they were seriously injured they had to travel hundreds of kilometres by horse, cart, or camel to reach a doctor. They often died before they got there.

RFDS Founder Reverend John Flynn witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas and had a vision to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for the people of the bush. On 15 May 1928, Flynn opened the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later to be renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service). The first Flying Doctor took flight on the 17th of May, 1928 in a single engine leased Qantas plane from Cloncurry, Queensland.

The growth of the RFDS in those early days was rapid and soon reached right across our vast continent. By the late 1930’s there were Sections of the RFDS operating in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and of course Queensland.

From the 1960s the RFDS moved away from using aircraft contractors to instead progressively purchasing our own aircraft and employing their own pilots and engineers. Today, they own a fleet of 69 fully instrumented aircraft and operate from 24 bases across Australia.

Today, the RFDS uses the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology and works to provide emergency medical and primary health care services to anyone who lives, works or travels in rural and remote Australia.

The RFDS Simulator will again be at the 2018 Adelaide 4WD and Adventure Show, and the team will be taking donations, answering questions and letting visitors get to know a little more about this invaluable Aussie organisation. Make sure you drop in and say hello!

Read more about Royal Flying Doctor Service and their 90 year history here