Flying Doctor Podcast takes off for top awards

By Jason Irvine

The 2022 Australian Podcast Awards nomination list includes the award-winning The Flying Doctor Podcast among the list of nominees in two categories – Best Podcast and Best Branded.

With 60 episodes released so far – and several centred on Broken Hill – the RFDS podcast has been downloaded 207,913 times since the first episode was released back last year.

“The Flying Doctor Podcast was created because the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has existed for over 94 years and in that time, thousands of lives have been impacted,” says podcast host, Lana Mitchell.

“It was really about bringing the stories of those individuals to the fore and make them all well-known.

“I’m personally of the view that people in the bush really are very strong, resilient, and courageous people and that a lot of what we deal with when we live in rural and remote Australia is quite atypical for someone who lives in the city.

“There’s much to be learned about both what happens when you live, work, or travel in the bush but also about resilience and first responders and the role that the RFDS plays in bringing both emergency and health services to the bush.

“So that was why we created The Flying Doctor Podcast and it’s very much got a focus on individual patients and families and communities served. We do interview some staff but really, even then, when we interview staff, it’s with a focus on the people that we serve which I find very, very exciting, and just very amazing people that we’ve interviewed over time.”

Each episode interviews people of all ages, across all locations, experiences and stories, ranging from teens to elderly people, deadly animal attacks to helicopter crashes, and everything in between.

“What I love about it and why I continue to move forward and do more and more interviews is really getting an insight, a personal insight into a person’s life and about what they’ve experienced and how that was dealt with and their reflections about that, the lessons learned. It’s really inspiring,” Ms Mitchell says.

“A lot of the stories are quite dramatic or may sometimes be a little triggering for some, but we always end on an upbeat note and you’ll always finish off the podcast interview feeling like you’ve learnt something and that you’re not feeling like you just want to go out and roll a ute! That’s why I do the podcast.”

Some of the podcast’s stories have included Broken Hill locals – community volunteer Leroy Henderson, pilot David Connell, governess Eliza Emmlin, and Vanessa Latham and Lesley Harvey from the RFDS Wellbeing Place in the middle of town.

“We’ve got at least three stories that are in and around Broken Hill,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I think it makes living in rural, remote areas a little more real to people who live in city areas. I do think it contributes to people wanting to get out, explore, learn, travel, meet, and talk to people in the whole region, which I would always hope brings better economic returns for Broken Hill.”

However, it was an episode where Lesley De Landelles from Jericho in Central West Queensland told her story – a dash to save her daughter and father’s lives – that prompted Ms Mitchell to submit that particular interview for consideration in the Best Interview category of the 2022 Australian Podcast Awards.

“I said to her at the end of the interview that I think I would be hard-pressed to find a story that even comes close to hers in terms of its shock value,” Ms Mitchell said.

I think I’m really lucky to be in a position where I can talk to such incredible people and bring their stories to a mainstream audience. But even if we don’t walk away with an award, just being nominated to me is fantastic.”

“I would love people to follow, subscribe or download the podcast and have a listen and give us feedback on which stories they love, which ones really impacted or resonated with them. If they have stories that they think ‘I think this’ll be a ripper yarn for a podcast’ then reach out to me and let me know because we’ll be recording podcasts and releasing them all next year, and the year after, and the year after so there’s plenty of opportunity for more stories.”

The Australian Podcast Awards will be decided by a jury of 54 independent judges, with the winners announced on Monday, November 21.

Listeners can also have a say and can lodge their vote for The Flying Doctor Podcast at

The Flying Doctor Podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. To see a list of each episode released, as well as a map of episodes by location, visit

Listeners can join in the conversation around the podcast by joining the Flying Doctor Podcast Community Facebook group. Ms Mitchell can be contacted with story ideas and comments about the podcast at [email protected]

Support the Barrier Truth!

We are a small, independently owned newspaper. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue publishing the truth from the Broken Hill region. Every little bit counts.

More Articles