Medical students in Menindee relay for RFDS
On the 18 June myself and two other medical students, Cam Spenceley and Hilary Von Maltzahn, ran an 115km relay from Menindee to Broken Hill to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. ‘The retrieval run’ was aimed at reflecting the large distances that exist in rural and remote health care, and the vital role that the RFDS plays in overcoming this.
Along with the tangible goal of raising valued funds for the RFDS, a second motivation was to increase awareness about rural health issues. In both cases, it can be said that the run was a resounding success.
Thanks to the generosity of a large number of donors we were able to raise just under $12,000. Further, the comments made on the donation website, posted on social media websites, and made in person to us indicate that there was a great deal of interest generated both locally, and more importantly, back in Sydney and other large metropolitan areas.
Reflecting back on the ‘retrieval run’, the three of us feel incredibly appreciative of the support we received both locally and from ‘away’. A special mention must go to our major sponsors, the Outback Pharmacy Group and Dr Flecknoe-Brown who together donated 20% of the total funds raised. Further, Adam Grieve and Brendon Bourne (Broken Hill paramedics volunteering for St John’s Ambulance Service) deserve a medal of honour for giving up their time off to drive vehicles on the day. The selfless attitudes of these two reflects a wider altruistic trend that exists across all facets of rural healthcare.
Looking towards the future, we hope that the ‘retrieval run’ is not a one-off event. It was a great event and it would be fantastic if future students could carry the baton further, making it bigger and better in 2012.
First appeared in Far West in Focus Edition 5, Vol 1, 2011
Amy Spear from ABC radio Broken Hill interviews Ed Irving for 'Rural Report' two days before the run (mp3, 2.58MB).