Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

It’s an honour

Clyde Thomson was included in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list, announced yesterday on the day of the Queen’s official birthday celebrations in Australia. The award (Member of the Order of Australia) recognises decades of service to remote communities – in Australia and overseas – through his work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

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“It was a huge surprise and an extremely pleasant one. I am absolutely delighted to receive this award,” said Thomson, who recently retired as CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, SE Section.

“I am humbled by the personal recognition but also delighted that this award acknowledges the invaluable work of all those people on the front line of health and emergency services in rural and remote areas.”

Clyde Thomson was recruited to the RFDS by the Rev Fred McKay, who was himself appointed as successor to the Rev John Flynn – the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

John Flynn_early days

“Since its foundation in 1928 the RFDS has had a long tradition of service to bush communities. I am proud to have followed in that tradition of service,” said Thomson. “Many equally dedicated people work for the RFDS, as well as other organisations that provide emergency services and health care in remote areas, and I feel privileged to have worked alongside them.”

Clyde Thomson (younger) and colleagues HR

Thomson spent thirty-nine years with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, as pilot, as chief pilot and for the past twenty-eight years as CEO of the South Eastern Section. During his tenure he helped set up the first remote clinical training schools in partnership with Sydney University, he introduced a raft of primary health care services and oversaw the expansion of the service from two aircraft and one Base to twenty-two aircraft and six Bases.

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Thomson has served on the Board of the Broken Hill Hospital, he worked in partnership with the Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Service and he served on the Board of the Medicare Local. He currently serves on the Boards of the African Medical and Research Foundation in Kenya, the Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in England and the Far West Local Health District.

“I am immensely proud of the achievements of the organisations I have worked with and thrilled that those organisations have made a positive contribution to the health and welfare of people living and working in remote and rural communities.”

Thomson was awarded the George Medal for bravery in 1966, the Equity Trustees CEO Award in 2003, the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003 and he was appointed Adjunct Professor of the University of Sydney in 2004.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable support of our patrons, Her Excellency the Honourable Professor Marie Bashir and Sir Nicholas Shehadie. I also want to thank all the RFDS Board members, past and present, and express my sincere gratitude to all those generous donors and supporters who continue to provide assistance to the RFDS, especially the RFDS Friends.”

As for me, I want to pass on my sincere congratulations to a man who inspires and supports me every day.

What a lovely couple!

Well done CC.

22 comments on “It’s an honour

  1. monsoonwendy
    June 10, 2014

    What wonderful news and a well deserved honour Deb!!! Give him a big congratulations kiss from us. Well, probably a hug from Mal. Really thrilled for him…both of you! Love from the west, W

    Like

  2. debhuntinbrokenhill
    June 10, 2014

    Thanks Wendy Out West, I will pass on those hugs and kisses 🙂

    Like

  3. wendylockyer
    June 10, 2014

    An amazing achievement and many congratulations from all of us in ‘Framley Codrington’ 🙂

    Like

  4. Sarah Murphy
    June 10, 2014

    Congratulations, that’s fab news. I love the photo Deb, you both look so happy x

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      June 10, 2014

      Thanks Sarah, that last pic was taken at Longreach in Queensland, when we met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall!

      Like

  5. Vicki Stanford
    June 10, 2014

    Congratulations Clyde very much deserved.
    Loved your book Deb.

    Like

  6. Jane @ Shady Baker
    June 10, 2014

    Clyde is certainly an inspiration Deb…lovely photos! Thanks for sharing this special moment.

    Like

  7. bkpyett
    June 10, 2014

    What a lovely tribute Deb and a beautiful photo of you with him to complete your tribute. It is a pleasure to hear someone worthy receives the honour.

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      June 10, 2014

      Thank you Barbara, he’s embarrassed that I posted about it but I couldn’t help myself!

      Like

  8. Carricklass
    June 10, 2014

    Now there’s a man who didn’t let the grass grow under his feet. The perfect partner for you – will always provide intellectual stimulation and never let you get bored. I’m sure that goes both ways. Congratulations to him for a well deserved honour.

    Like

  9. Django Zazou
    June 10, 2014

    A life of action, adventure, heroism and service, rightly honoured by the Queen of Australia. And he gets the girl, too! Congratulations to you both!

    Like

  10. Val Lord
    June 10, 2014

    Please congratulate Clyde for both Andrew and I. A well deserved honour!! Thanks for the story and the pics Deb! x

    Like

  11. Cathy
    June 10, 2014

    Very many congratulations to Clyde! 🙂

    Like

  12. Terry 'Daktari'
    November 8, 2014

    Great to meet you both in Kenya. Fantastic achievements Clyde. Take a moment to be proud! Deb, great news about your latest project. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you in Blighty.

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      November 10, 2014

      hi Terry, great to meet you in Kenya and I know Clyde is trying to arrange to get down to see you. Sadly I won’t be able to join him as I’ve got family commitments in Bristol but hopefully next time we can stay for longer. Look forward to seeing you next year in Kenya (I hope) and stay safe in the skies!

      Like

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I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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