TAKE FLIGHT: RFDS chairman Mark Gray, Maranoa mayor Tyson Golder, RFDS CEO Nino Di Marco and board member Bruce Scott discuss celebratory air rally to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the aero-medical service.
TAKE FLIGHT: RFDS chairman Mark Gray, Maranoa mayor Tyson Golder, RFDS CEO Nino Di Marco and board member Bruce Scott discuss celebratory air rally to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the aero-medical service. Molly Hancock

RFDS flies high for 90th

THIS year the Royal Flying Doctor Service will celebrate 90 years since the first flight that was conducted from Cloncurry to Julia Creek on May 17, 1928.

RFDS chairman Mark Gray, CEO Nino DiMarco and board member Bruce Scott met with Maranoa Regional Council mayor Tyson Golder to discuss the upcoming anniversary.

"We have a series of celebrations and events coming up this year including an air rally of antique aircraft starting in Dubbo, coming up through Broken Hill and landing in Roma on May 10 before going onto Charleville, Longreach and then to Cloncurry,” Mr Gray said.

"They will then re-enact the first flight on May 17.”

The air rally is expected to have about 50 aircraft and the RFDS posed the question to council whether an event after the rally should follow.

Cr Golder said he would put it to the council to see what it could do.

"It's been a great opportunity and honour to have the 90th anniversary being celebrated by stopping in Roma and it will be certainly something taken to our council to recognise that event and get involved,” Cr Golder said.

"As a brand the Royal Flying Doctor is gold standard and so many people have benefited from being helped out by RFDS, we really want to support them in any way we can.”

The RFDS also hopes to try and establish more collaborations with the community and work closer with local government and hospital health services to benefit the region better.

"We have been a highly respected organisation but tend to be a bit shy about ourselves from time to time and haven't marketed ourselves as best as we could or reached out to other organisations and worked as closely with them as we possibly can,” Mr Gray said.

Since 1928 the RFDS has come a long way and is now able to reach any RFDS base in Queensland within two hours.

"I hope John Flynn would look back and think would it ever be possible that Queensland could have an air-plane medical service with bases where anywhere in Queensland could be reached in two hours,” Mr DiMarco said.