CareFlight Charity Donation

04 May 2024 / Story and Photos by Joe Kovacic and Bryan Shedden

The charity that the MX-5 Club of NSW supports is CareFlight. We have been supporting CareFlight for over ten years through donations received from members at a wide variety of charity fundraising events.

CareFlight provide a rapid response helicopter service in the greater Sydney region and surrounding areas. The helicopter is capable of being airborne within three minutes of activation, ensuring that patients receive lifesaving treatment fast.

On Monday 22 April 2024, a small group of Committee members were invited to the CareFlight base at Westmead Hospital to meet the crew and inspect the new Airbus H145 helicopter, which commenced service in 2021. The H145 is equipped with the most up-to-date medical equipment including a mobile intensive care unit. The rear clamshell doors allow for faster loading and unloading of patients saving critical minutes, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

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Ian Combes (President), Joe Kovacic (Vice President) and Bryan Shedden (Membership Secretary and acting Vice President) were delighted to meet Nathan (aircrew), Nicole (paramedic) and Adam (doctor). The crew are on call from 8am to 8pm each day, and often work into the night using night-vision goggles for navigation. They typically receive one call-out per day, but sometimes up to three. We were fortunate that their services were not required during our visit, which gave us a great opportunity to look over the helicopter. It was wonderful to meet the crew and learn about their individual roles, history with CareFlight and how the service operates.


We thanked the crew for the rapid medical care provided to one of our Club members in 2018, when the old Kawasaki BK117-B2 helicopter was dispatched to land on the track at Sydney Motorsport Park after a serious racing incident in the MX-5 Cup.


Finally, Ian presented a donation cheque to Nat (CareFlight Events Manager) for $2,271 collected from our generous MX-5 Club members. These funds were raised at our Motorsport Presentation Night and Illawarra Christmas Party at the end of 2023, and are additional to the $735 already donated from last year's President's Picnic. This brings our MX-5 Club donation total amount to $26,581 in 12 years. As a significant proportion of essential funding for CareFlight services comes from community donations, we know that our support is helping make these lifesaving services possible.

The MX-5 Club of NSW is proud to support CareFlight.



Click here for full photo album

Read about our previous donation presentation on 11 December 2015 when CareFlight were operating with a Kawasaki BK 117 helicopter.



Two days before this presentation, Bryan visited the Living Military Museum in Bowral and was surprised to see the shell of an old Bell UH-1 Iroquois previously used by CareFlight as a Medical Rescue Trainer.