RFDS readies for royals
Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011
By Erica Visser
Staff at the Flying Doctor’s Broken Hill Base are eagerly preparing for the arrival of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark on Friday morning.
The Princess is due to arrive at the city’s airport via a Royal Air Force jet at 10.20am where she will be met with a tight schedule.
She will firstly be greeted with an official welcome to country by Maureen O’Donnell and a range of local representatives.
She will then be escorted around to the front of the RFDS base, where crowds will have the chance to get a glimpse of royalty.
Senior Medical Officer Mike Hill will have the honour of guiding Princess Mary, who has expressed a specific interest in the Australian RFDS, through an aircraft in the hangar.
A luncheon which will be attended by 200 guests, including NSW Governor Marie Bashir, will also be held in the hangar.
RFDS South Eastern Executive Director Clyde Thomson said that the visit would benefit both the local RFDS and the Broken Hill community.
“The benefit to RFDS is that it will be recognised as an iconic charity that serves remote Australia,” Mr Thomson said.
“What that does is give RFDS an international profile in Europe, particularly London, Germany and Holland where there’s charities set up but also in Australia.”
Mr Thomson said that the visit would help the RFDS raise the money to not only respond to medical emergencies, but to provide outback healthcare.
“We raised in the South East $15 million a year and this will help to ensure that our services are delivered.”
Mr Thomson said that Princess Mary will be educated about the RFDS services- including womens and childrens health, which she has a particular interest in.
The brief visit will conclude at 12.55pm, when the princess will be farewelled back on the plane to Melbourne.