THE Outback Car Trek has fired again for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and is due to arrive on the Mid North Coast this weekend.
Starting in West Wyalong, the Trek will cover some 3,500kms as it criss-crosses the state on its way to Port Macquarie.
"We're so glad to be back and doing it for the Doctor again. The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) provides vital healthcare services to regional, rural and remote communities across Australia," said Bill Patrick, who is gearing up for his 12th Trek as organiser and his 17th overall.
"The OBCT is one of Australia's longest-running and most successful charity motoring events. COVID restrictions have limited the numbers of Trekkers this year, but we'll be aiming to add as much as possible to the some $31 million we have already raised for the RFDS."
Apart from their contribution to the RFDS the 100 car, 200 person convoy will also provide a welcome financial boost for the many small towns they will pass through.
Although the RFDS is best known for outback emergency retrievals, the majority of its work these days involves vital outback primary health care. This includes mental and dental health, breast care, women and children's health, drug and alcohol counselling and chronic disease screening, as well as GP and other specialist services.
It's estimated that the Trek has covered over 125,000kms in the past 30 years.
Trekkers departed from West Wyalong on June 6 and headed northwest to Broken Hill before they will cut back to the east coast, heading for Port Macquarie via Broken Hill, Dubbo and Inverell this week.
They will arrive in Port Macquarie on Saturday, June 12.
"Among the many highlights during this great week of remote driving will be visits to the Broken Hill and Dubbo bases of the RFDS South Eastern Section," Mr Patrick said.
"We're proud of our long association with the Flying Doctor and this is an important reminder of why we are on the road. Many years trekking through the more remote parts of Australia have taught us just how vital a lifeline they are for those on the land and how much it's still needed".
Greg Sam, chief executive officer of the RFDS South Eastern Section, paid tribute to the longevity of the Trek.
"I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to all the Trekkers who have supported us over the past 30 years," he said.
"Nationwide, the RFDS has a 'waiting room' of some 7.6 million km sq and during the past year we flew more than 27 million kms to help over 320,000 people, nearly one person every two minutes.
"A third of our funding comes from private donors who help cover the cost of maintaining and upgrading our aircraft, infrastructure, medical equipment and facilitating our clinics. In that context the contribution of the Outback Car Trek over the past 30 years has been immense."
You can support the Flying Doctor by donating to the Outback Car Trek at www.outbackcartrekfundraising.com.au
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