Flying Hoves Keep Doctor Flying!

At the Roma Turf Club’s annual Rugby Race day at Bassett Park in June, a special presentation was made to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Last December’s Club Hotel Roma Cup was the final leg of the Racing Queensland Country Cups Challenge Series, with 16 qualifiers contested across the state leading up to the Final at Doomben in Brisbane. For the past two editions of the Country Cups Challenge, Racing Queensland has worked to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) with the 16 qualifiers serving as fundraising opportunities with clubs supporting the RFDS through donation tins and other race day related activities. Along with collecting donations on Cup Day, last year the Roma Turf Club pledged a portion of the proceeds of the Cup Calcutta held at the Club Hotel the night before the big race and were able to present a cheque for $3500 to the RFDS at the Rugby Race day.

Royal Flying Doctor Service Ambassador and board director Bruce Scott AM said “the RFDS is incredibly grateful to the Roma Turf Club and the generous people of the Maranoa for this wonderful donation and their continuing support of the Flying Doctor.” Mr Scott added “locally in the past 12 months, some 398 people have been transferred out of the Maranoa Regional Council region by the RFDS, often in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning. Just last year, a baby girl was born 2 months prematurely with a birth weight of just 1100 grams. After being delivered by emergency caesarean at the Roma Hospital at 8:00pm, this little girl was airlifted to Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital at 3:00am on a RFDS flight, and she and her parents were able to celebrate her first birthday 3 weeks ago due to that lifesaving flight. It is vital fundraising and donations like this that will help to ensure our aeromedical and primary health care teams have the vital equipment and training to deliver the finest care to the furthest corners of the state.”

Roma Turf Club RFDS presentation

In making the presentation to the RFDS, Roma Turf Club co-president Peter Flynn said that the club were proud to support the Flying Doctor as a part of the Cup celebrations, and added that this year’s Club Hotel Roma Cup on November 16th will once again be a leg of the Country Cups Challenge Series, and once again will be fundraising for the RFDS.

Racing Queensland CEO Jason Scott said that more than 80% of the state’s 49,786 racing participants are located in regional communities and added that the partnership would continue to strengthen RQ’s existing ties to the RFDS whilst further supporting the country racing industry. “Across the Sunshine State, there are 85 towns each year who host a race day as the biggest or second biggest event for that community’s social calendar, showcasing everything that is great about local food, fashion, and on-course entertainment. The Country Cups Challenge and the Royal Flying Doctor Service is a natural synergy, and one that we are proud to continue supporting in the communities we work, race, and play in” he added.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said “the wonderful support of the Roma Turf Club and its supporters helps train our doctors, nurses and pilots, purchase aircraft and vital aeromedical equipment, and deliver mental health and wellbeing programs.” She added “Your fundraising efforts are truly appreciated by the entire Flying Doctor team, and from our team to yours, please pass on our thanks to everyone involved. Our team of flight nurses, doctors, pilots, engineers, and clinicians work around the clock to provide the best possible care to those who count on us. You are all part of our team too and we are so grateful that you choose to support the Flying Doctor. We just couldn’t do it without you.”

Mr Scott added “RFDS founder Reverend John Flynn once said, ‘If you start something worthwhile, nothing can stop it’ and this is evidenced by the RFDS today some 96 years on. Every year thousands of Queenslanders rely on the Flying Doctor for life-saving medical care and receive the equivalent quality of care as they would in the emergency ward of a major hospital in Brisbane. Donations like this help the Flying Doctor to continue to be there for those who need it – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The RFDS Roma Hangar and Patient Transfer Facility is one of nine operational RFDS bases across Queensland and commenced operations at Roma Airport in August, 2014. The RFDS operates 25 aircraft and currently employs more than 600 people in Queensland with positions ranging from pilots, doctors, nurses, engineers, allied health professionals, and a variety of administration and support services roles.

If you would like to make a donation to help keep the Flying Doctor flying, visit

photos courtesy of Katarina Sylvester Photography – Roma Turf Club co-president Peter Flynn presenting the cheque to RFDS Ambassador and board member Bruce Scott AM