Case Study: RDFS “Creating a Sustainable/Enduring Organisation”


The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Central Operations provides extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency aeromedical services to people who live, work, and play across South Australia and the Northern Territory. It has a proud 90-year history of saving lives, and today comprises a 370+ strong workforce that delivers the finest care to someone every 10 minutes.

Need for Change

The RFDS Central Operations Board and Executive Leadership Team recognised that one of the keys to its future success was building a culture that could assist the organisation transition from its proud history to a more competitive sector that was changing rapidly through government tendering and more private sector competition and involvement. There was a critical need for change to ensure the RFDS could not only survive but thrive through these changing times.
This change was critical not only due to the more competitive landscape but also due to the feedback from employees on the need for more constructive leadership and a renewed focus on attraction and retention strategies for staff. This was in the environment of having staff across a range of bases.


There was a need to invest significantly in a range of initiatives centred around the following key areas:
1. Develop our leaders. Focus on developing our leaders to be constructive role models across the organisation.
2. Improve communication. Work as one team and work collaboratively across teams, bases, disciplines and functions.
3. Improve equity, transparency and fairness. Work hard to ensure employees had the same opportunities and that it was transparent in how these were communicated and applied.
4. Increase employee involvement. A real shift from a dependent to an achievement oriented and empowered culture that involves all employees.
5. Training and development. Invest in training and development to improve the capability and confidence of its people.
Initiatives under each of these areas were significant leading to outstanding results being achieved as part of the remeasure results.

“Leadership and culture aren’t about being the boss or being in control; it is about creating a shared vision and goals, and then inspiring, empowering and influencing others to achieve more than they ever thought possible.” 
Tony Vaughan – Chief Executive


RFDS Central Operations results speak for themselves. What makes them more outstanding is achieving these remeasure results through COVID-19 which was particularly challenging given the industry and environment that the RFDS Central Operations operates in.

Interested in learning more about Royal Flying Doctor Service?

Download the written case study for additional insight.

RFDS Case Study


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