An icon of the Australian outback is gearing up to showcase the life-saving work it performs from its Dubbo base to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service will host the couple as its Dubbo base is undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade to enhance the care it provides to regional communities.
The project is progressing as the service celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2018.
RFDS South Eastern Section chief medical officer Dr Randall Greenberg said there was great anticipation about the visit, to take place on October 17.
“We’re very excited for their visit,” he said.
“I mean, it’s incredible, they’re one of the most famous couples in the world and incredible that they’re visiting Dubbo and then we’re very excited they’re coming out to Dubbo RFDS.
“It allows us to showcase our service, particularly it’s our 90th anniversary.”
The Dubbo doctor paid tribute to the team.
“The staff work really long hours, often have to work after their allotted time finishes because if someone’s crook, you’ve got to go and get them even if it’s at the end of your shift,” Dr Greenberg said.
“That’s doctors, nurses and pilots, and the poor old engineers get called in at all hours to fix the planes.
“So it’s terrific what they do and it’s nice for them to showcase some of what they do.”
It’s some recognition that this famous couple will visit us, so it’s certainly boosted morale.Dr Randall Greenberg
In 2016 the RFDS announced plans for a multimillion-dollar upgrade to accommodate an aeromedical simulation and training facility, flight training centre and Flying Doctor tourism and visitor centre.
Earlier this year the Daily Liberal viewed works at the Dubbo airport site.
The chief medical officer said he had seen “really exciting” developments at the base during his time with the organisation.
“So I started working for the service about nine years ago and there was really just a few rooms and a bit of a shed, there wasn’t much there at all.
“And it’s grown since then and now with this big new development that should be open in early 2019.”
Dr Greenberg said the team at the base were really looking forward to the visit.
“It’s some recognition that this famous couple will visit us, so it’s certainly boosted morale,” he said.
Dubbo-based director of the RFDS SE Terry Clark regarded the inclusion on the itinerary as an honour.
“I’m overwhelmed with excitement they are coming to visit our base at Dubbo,” he said.
On their one-day trip to Dubbo the duke and duchess will also visit a drought-affected farm, attend a picnic in Victoria Park with the community and visit a local school working to improve the education outcomes of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.