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Honour for Captain Clyde

Thursday, 12th June, 2014

Former CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s South East Section, Clyde Thomson, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Former CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s South East Section, Clyde Thomson, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Former CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s South East Section, Clyde Thomson, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.  

Mr Thomson said news of the award came as a surprise but he was pleased the work of people in regional health was being recognised.

“I am absolutely delighted to receive this award,” he said. 

“I am humbled by the personal recognition but also delighted that this award acknowledges the invaluable work of those people on the front line of health and emergency services in rural and remote areas.” 

Mr Thomson was recruited to the RFDS by the Reverend Fred McKay, the successor to the Rev. John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

He spent 39 years with the Flying Doctor as a pilot, then chief pilot and, for the past 28 years, as CEO of the South Eastern Section.

During his tenure Mr Thomson helped set up the first remote clinical training schools in partnership with Sydney University, introduced a raft of primary health care services and oversaw the expansion of the service from two aircraft and one base to 22 aircraft and six bases.

Mr Thomson also served on the Board of the Broken Hill Hospital, worked in partnership with the Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Service and served on the Board of the Medicare Local.

He now serves on the boards of the African Medical and Research Foundation in Kenya, the Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in England and the Far West Local Health District. 

“I am immensely proud of the achievements of the organisations I have worked with and thrilled that those organisations have made a positive contribution to the health and welfare of people living and working in remote and rural communities,” he said.

Mr Thomson was awarded the George Medal for bravery in 1966, won the Equity Trustees CEO Award in 2003, the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003 and was appointed Adjunct Professor of the University of Sydney in 2004.

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