Rio Tinto launches new fundraising campaign for the Royal Flying Doctor Service

21 August 2019

Rio Tinto has today launched a new fundraising campaign to support the critical work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The campaign, dubbed 'Keep Flynn Flying' in honour of RFDS founder Reverend John Flynn, encourages Australians to help raise important funds for the RFDS to continue delivering emergency aero medical care to remote and regional communities.

As a long-term supporter of the RFDS, Rio Tinto has committed $22.5 million to RFDS since 2004, which included $10 million towards two state-of-the-art jet aircrafts known as 'emergency wards in the sky'. Each PC-24 jet can carry three stretchered patients and two medical teams, fly at a top speed of 815 kilometres per hour and contend with short landings and take-offs on unsealed airstrips.

Rio Tinto is now partnering with the Australian public to help the RFDS with ongoing aviation costs and for the purchase of life saving aero medical equipment.

From today, Australians can donate to the RFDS with Rio Tinto matching every donation up to $100,000.

Technology is also helping tell the story of the campaign. Thanks to pioneering augmented reality software, will allow Australians to experience Reverend Flynn's image on the twenty dollar note deliver a special message about the importance of the RFDS on their mobile phone.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said "The health and safety of our people and the communities where we operate are critical to Rio Tinto. That's why we've been proud to support the wonderful work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service for the past 35 years.

"In recent times we have committed $10 million to support the RFDS' two new state-of-the-art jet aircraft which ensure patients anywhere in Western Australia can be reached within approximately three hours."

"While these jets are a great asset to WA, it costs a lot of money to keep them in the sky. That's why we're now raising funds to ensure the RFDS can continue their vital services across the state."

"We're calling on Australians to help 'Keep Flynn Flying', with Rio Tinto matching all donations up to $100,000."

RFDS chief executive Rebecca Tomkinson said "The new Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets are a game changer in aero medical care, enabling reduced flight times and increased capacity for patients and medical teams.

"We are delighted to partner with Rio Tinto to raise awareness about the Royal Flying Doctor Service and encourage public donations to keep our vital service in the air through this unique mobile phone experience."