A humble hero honoured
AN unassuming figure with a heart and sense of community spirit as vast as his backyard in southwest Queensland's Yowah, Scott Shorten is the deserving winner of the 2018 Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland Hero Award.
Scott could be considered the backbone of the Yowah community.
From helping the RFDS for many years when there's a medical emergency in his small home town to leading the Yowah SES, the whole community would call Scott if they were ever in medical trouble.
Scott is a long-time supporter of the RFDS, known locally for not only helping in the actual construction of the town's airstrip, but for also now picking up the crew from the airstrip and taking them into town for the fortnightly GP clinic.
The RFDS Queensland Hero Award was presented to Scott in front of more than 700 guests, including Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, at the RFDS Wings for Life Gala in Brisbane.
He was chosen out of nine recipients of the 2018 RFDS Local Hero Awards from across the state, announced earlier this year as part of the RFDS 90th anniversary celebrations.
As part of the award, Scott was given a $5000 grant donated by Ergon Energy Retail to be used to improve health outcomes for his community.
"This really is an honour,” Scott said.
"The Flying Doctor means so much to the people of Yowah, so this award really does mean a lot.
"Our airport is 4km out of town and we don't have the population for an ambulance.
"At the moment we have to use the back of a ute to transport patients out to the airfield,” he said.
"But with this money we can equip a trailer with 12-volt lighting and benches down each side, with a stretcher in the middle for easy access for doctors and nurses.
"This way the patient and crew are protected from the elements - the sun, rain, dust, or cold night air.”