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Search begins for RFDS Local Heroes

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Carolyn Saffron, last year's Local Hero Award winner for Bundaberg

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) is again casting a spotlight on all those community members who have helped keep the Flying Doctor in the air and in the communities that need it most, through the RFDS Local Hero Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the RFDS Local Hero Awards give the RFDS (Queensland Section) the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the good Samaritans, volunteers and fundraisers who go out of their way to ensure the Flying Doctor can continue its life-saving work.

Anyone who knows someone can now nominate them to be a 2020 RFDS Local Hero.

Carolyn Saffron was worthy 2019 winner

This year’s winner will follow on from the 2019 Bundaberg winner Carolyn Saffron.

For over a decade Carolyn Saffron has been the backbone of the Bundaberg RFDS Auxiliary. Now the committee’s president, she reliably sizzles sausages, shakes tins, organises and inspires the group. She is a wonderful ambassador for the service, travelling far and wide, often on her own, to promote the organisation.

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO, Meredith Staib said the awards were always a highlight on the RFDS calendar.

“We’re thrilled to reach five years of shining a light on those wonderful members of the community for being so giving and generous, who assist the work of the RFDS on many levels,” she said.

“Every year we are overwhelmed at the incredible stories that emerge – of people who selflessly act as the first responders to an emergency before we arrive, or people who have dedicated decades of their lives raising funds or assisting our primary health care teams in outback clinics.

“It’s hard to express how grateful we are for everyone who supports the Flying Doctor, but we like to think the RFDS Local Hero Awards are at least a start.

“It’s also an occasion that allows us to thank the support we receive from of our major partners Ergon Energy Retail, Seven News Queensland and Queensland Country Life who help us acknowledge the contributions of these hidden heroes, we couldn’t do it without them.”

RFDS Local Hero Awards recognise regional Queenslanders

Executive General Manager of Ergon Energy Retail, Cheryl Hopkins said the business was proud to extend its support to recognise the outstanding efforts of regional Queenslanders through the awards.

“Every year the nominations get better and better and last year I was amazed at the lengths community members went to in assisting the RFDS. I’m really looking forward to hearing about this year’s heroes and sharing who they are,” Ms Hopkins said.

“This year marks 20 years since we partnered with the Flying Doctor in Queensland – with more than 165,000 Ergon Retail customers helping raise almost $15 million in that time – and the Local Hero Awards are a real milestone of that anniversary, and just another way we can say thank you to some outstanding Queenslanders.”

Nine Local Hero finalists will be named at special events happening at RFDS Bases in Queensland on May 19. 

An overall Queensland Hero will be announced at the RFDS Wings for Life Gala being held at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on July 18, where they will be presented a $7,500 grant thanks to Ergon Energy Retail to go towards improving health care initiatives in their local community.

Nominations for the RFDS Local Hero Awards are now open until March 29, and can be made online here.

  • 2019 Local Hero news

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