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RFDS honour for Lynch

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

John Lynch in front of the RFDS jet named in his honour. PICTURE: Supplied John Lynch in front of the RFDS jet named in his honour. PICTURE: Supplied

By Emily McInerney

A RFDS plane has been named after a former Broken Hill resident to honour his service to the organisation.

In December 2018, John Lynch retired as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Central Operations.

Mr Lynch joined the RFDS at its Broken Hill Base as Accountant in 1986. 

He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of RFDS Central Operations (serving SA/NT) in 1991 and assumed the position of CEO in December 2000. 

Last month, the world’s first purpose- built aeromedical jet worth $13 million was named after him; “John Francis Lynch”.

Mr Lynch told the BDT that he was very humbled by the honour.

“This is very humbling and a real honour for not only me but my wife Anita, our two sons and their families and all those who I have interacted with over my journey,” he said.

“I do hope that everyone associated in this group feels as proud and privileged as I do.”

Mr Lynch said he understands the aircraft’s capability regarding short field access, speed and patient numbers will prove to be of great benefit to those who need such services.

“We should also acknowledge the Board for their commitment to ongoing innovation and service delivery with all decisions based on the patient first and foremost,” he said.

Mr Lynch said he was happy to step away from the role of CEO as he knew his replacement would be up to the task.

“We were delighted that my replacement came from within as that provides the staff with the awareness that succession planning is viable and opportunities exist within and to (new CEO) Tony Vaughan - I say congratulations and good luck.

“I hope he enjoys the role as much as I did, as it’s a privilege and honour to serve so many with so many dedicated staff and volunteers.

“To that end he deserves his space to make his agenda and direction and hence I am a little distant at the moment but that will change in the future.

“Having said that, I will always keep in touch and just drop in from time to time; I owe it, as that job was the best there is.”

Mr Lynch said it was the people that made the job worth it.

“The people you worked with and met along the way and the encouragement to propose plans and implement them,” he said. 

When Mr Lynch commenced as CEO of RFDS Central Operations it assisted over 38,000 patients every year, including 6,000 aeromedical evacuations, operated 10 medically-equipped aircraft across three aeromedical bases and managed one remote primary health facility.

Today, the organisation conducts over 50,000 patient contacts per annum, including 9,000 aeromedical evacuations, operates a fleet of 18 medically-equipped Pilatus PC12 aircraft across four aeromedical bases, and manages three remote primary health facilities in outback SA.

Mr Lynch was also heavily involved in sport in the city.

“Sport was always a family involvement and I was involved with the West Football club and still am with the Past Players and Officials committee,” he said.

“I was on the St Pat’s Committee and we still try to get back for both race meetings and other reunion functions.

“My sister Margaret still lives in Broken Hill and we have many friends to catch up with so going back to the Hill is a regular on our agenda.

“I have also been fortunate to be invited back on the Board of Foundation Broken Hill which is an incredible organisation and a great opportunity personally to put something back, as Broken Hill gave us our start.

“We were always taught to put into the community as we in our early life were the recipients of a great lifestyle and upbringing.”

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