LifeFlight Regional Advisory Committee Dinner
Minister for Health and Ambulance Service, the Honourable Yvette D'Ath MP; LifeFlight Chair, the Honourable Rob Borbidge AO and members of the Board; CEO, Mr Ashley van de Velde OAM; Vice-Patrons; Regional Advisory Committee members; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I also wish to acknowledge the original custodians of the lands of Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
Thank you for inviting me to attend tonight's dinner, the culmination of two days of learning about LifeFlight and what it hopes to achieve in the coming year. Your contributions as volunteer Regional Advisory Committee members are key to the continued success of this vital medical retrieval service.
I share a special personal connection with LifeFlight Australia.
One of my proudest achievements, in my former career with Queensland Health, was working with LifeFlight and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to establish a world-class aeromedical retrieval service for all Queenslanders; and to this day, I remain in awe of the lifesaving work our State’s aeromedical personnel deliver.
When I started my new chapter as Governor in November last year, LifeFlight was my first patronage acceptance, and I became your inaugural Patron.
In May this year, I attended the 15th Anniversary of the Toowoomba base and 10th Anniversary of the Surat Gas Aero-medical Service celebrations.
There, I remarked that the work of LifeFlight was very close to my heart, particularly given my background as a medical doctor.
And I made a point of thanking the pilots, the doctors, the nurses, the engineers, the trainers and the support staff who are at the heart of LifeFlight, and whose every working day is focussed on saving lives and supporting Queenslanders during their time of need.
This evening, it is you, the people largely behind the scenes, on regional advisory committees throughout Queensland, who I wish to acknowledge for your dedication to LifeFlight’s central mission. That is, to ensure every Queenslander has access to lifesaving aeromedical support of the highest calibre.
Without your support, hard work and dedication, LifeFlight might never get off the ground, literally!
Not only do you raise much-needed extra financial aid for the service with your fundraising endeavours, but you build support for LifeFlight in local and regional communities that may not realise they need it, until the worst happens of course.
I have seen first-hand the difference retrieval medicine can make in the lives of people regional and remote areas who, of course, deserve access to the best medical help our health system can offer.
I have listened to the stories of those whose lives you have helped save, not only from your own communities but from many others around this vast state.
And so, I thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do to help rural and regional communities in the future.
Please enjoy the rest of your evening.