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13 April, 2022

Local boy’s dream comes true

11-YEAR-OLD Cairns resident, Chae Weidner, met some of his heroes at a special tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) base on Tuesday.

With the dream of living in the outback when he grows up, Chae first learned of the Flying Doctor when the service saved his uncle’s life after a deadly snake bit the man on a fishing trip. 

This week’s tour was a dream come true for Chae, who, with his nana’s permission, entered a competition held by RFDS partner Ergon Energy Retail. 

In his winning entry, Chae wrote: “I know how important the RFDS is to farmers and travellers in the country. My family goes camping and fishing in the country and on-farm stations, one day, we might need help.” 

RFDS (Queensland Section) Cairns Nurse Manager Leanne Hill thanked Ergon Energy Retail for helping to realise Chae’s dream. 

“Last year, Ergon Energy Retail held a competition to offer customers the chance to win an exclusive tour of one of the Flying Doctor’s eight aeromedical bases in Queensland,” Ms Hill said. 

“With more than 450 entries across the state, it must have been difficult to choose just three tour recipients, and I couldn’t be happier with our local winner. 

“As a service nearing 100-years of operation, it’s heartwarming to see new generations still look up to the skies and appreciate the Flying Doctor’s impact on the lives of locals,” she said. 

Chae was joined by his family; his grandmother, Carmen, said she was thrilled her grandson was being given a chance to tour. 

“Chae loves his time out exploring rural and remote parts of Queensland, so his uncle’s lifesaving experience has really stayed with him,” Carmen said. 

“He’s been very excited about the tour and meeting all the real-life doctors, nurses and pilots of the RFDS.” 

Ergon Energy Retail Executive General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said it was wonderful to see such passion continue to transcend each generation. 

“Chae’s wish to meet the team and tour the base really demonstrates the RFDS’s positive impact on providing vital medical services to our customers and communities in regional Queensland,” Ms Razzaq said. 

“I cannot thank our customers and staff enough for their generous donations through their Ergon Energy bills. It can be as little as $2, but it is so crucial in helping keep the Flying Doctor flying.” 

The RFDS provides healthcare services over 1.73 million square kilometres in Queensland from nine strategically located bases in Cairns, Townsville, Mount Isa, Charleville, Longreach, Roma, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Brisbane. 

These services are delivered via a fleet of 20 medically equipped aeromedical aircraft. In Queensland, RFDS provides 190 occasions of care each day, including flying 30 patients per day to specialist care.

To support the Royal Flying Doctor Service, visit:

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