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Australian History

Monday, March 26, 1934. :   The Flying Doctor Service announces that it will expand from Queensland into Western Australia.

     Australia's Flying Doctor Service began with the vision of Reverend John Flynn. After Flynn was posted as a Presbyterian minister to Beltana, a tiny, remote settlement 500 kilometres north of Adelaide, he reported on the difficulties of ministering to such a widely scattered population. This resulted in him being appointed as the first Superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission, the ‘bush department’ of the Presbyterian Church. At that time, only two doctors served an area of 300,000 square kilometres in Western Australia and 1,500,000 square kilometres in the Northern Territory. Realising the need for better medical care for the people of the outback, Flynn established numerous bush hospitals and hostels.

Flynn realised that technology such as radio and the aeroplane could assist in providing a more effective medical service. After receiving advice from Australian World War 1 pilot, Clifford Peel, on the capabilities and costs of then-available planes, Flynn turned his considerable fund-raising talents to the task of establishing a flying medical service. On 15 May 1928, the Aerial Medical Service was established at Cloncurry, in western Queensland. Flynn also collaborated with Alfred Traeger, who developed the pedal radio, a lighter, compact radio for communication, readily available to more residents of the outback for its size and cost.

Initially conceived as a one-year experiment, Flynn's vision continued to expand, providing a valuable medical service to people in remote areas. On 26 March 1934, it was announced that the Flying Doctor Service would extend from Queensland into Western Australia. This was to be the first of numerous expansions into each of the other states.

In 1942 the service was renamed the Flying Doctor Service. Queen Elizabeth II approved the prefix "Royal" in 1955 following her visit to Australia, and the service became the Royal Flying Doctor Service, or RFDS.

Today in History

Thought For Today
Give yourself to the Lord; trust in him, and he will help you;
Psalms 37:5 (c) GNB
When you are finished trying to do things your way, how about asking God to help you do it the right way for a change. He knows best.

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