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The Salvation Army enters Torres Strait

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

April this year saw Salvation Army personnel visit the Torres Strait on a reconnaissance mission. Captain Darren Kingston and Indigenous Engagement Officer Allen Minniecon went to see what the community needs were and came away determined to continue the work of the Salvation Army in this region.image2

At present, the Salvation Army in Far North Queensland operate 7 family stores throughout the region, 3 emergency relief places, 3 specialised personalised support staff for mental health clients at risk of homelessness,2 worshipping communities, a court chaplain, counseling in financial maters, gambling and general counsellors, and emergency services teams. Captain Darren Kingston says he is hoping some of his team can continue to visit the region in the future and also assist and provide help over the phone.

imageSkytrans are a major supporter of the Salvation Army and were happy to support this mission with two return flights and are once again supporting this years Red Shield Appeal which is held from 24th-25th of May. Skytrans will be placing an envelope in each seat pocket on their flights for passengers who wish to make a donation. The money raised will go directly to help fund the Salvation Army’s work in the region and we ask that everyone digs deep over this weekend to raise much needed funds for a great cause. You can donate online at or phone 07 4041 7227.


Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The smallest town in Australia, Betoota, hosted record crowds at last weekend’s horse and motorbike gymkhana. The event was almost cancelled, due to hardship suffered by competitors, sponsors and organisers as a result of the debilitating Queensland drought. However, voluntary organisers and the communities of the Diamantina Shire rallied together to host the event despite the odds, which resulted in astounding success and, miraculously, heavy rain.

Open Barrel Race Winners

Open Barrel Race Winners

Traditionally one of the smaller events on the Diamantina Shire’s events calendar, the Betoota Gymkhana is run entirely by volunteers living on remote pastoral properties near the ghost town of Betoota, which until 2004 had a population of one and now has an official population of zero.

Betoota Social Club secretary Lorraine Kath says that this year’s event attracted a whopping crowd, which was over three times bigger than expected. “Not only did we get a record number of competitors in both the horse and motorbike events, but we also got more spectators than ever before,” she says. “I think the drought has really hit people hard and we are taking any opportunity we can to get out, socialise and take our minds off our woes.”

Sam Hannan Birdsville

Sam Hannan Birdsville

In the early stages of organisation, the Betoota Social Club was struggling to find sponsors. “In stressful times such as this, most local sponsors struggle to find spare funds to support events,” says Mrs Kath. “We know that these events are essential for our mental wellbeing, but it’s difficult to justify the sponsorship dollars. We were very lucky to get some major sponsors on board, such as Drillsearch, Skytrans, SANTOS, the Birdsville Bakery and Smiley’s Transport. Without them, there’s no way the event would have gone ahead. We would like to thank all of our sponsors, big or small, for their assistance.”

To top off the extraordinary weekend, Betoota recorded 30.6 ml of rain on the Sunday afternoon, which put an end to gymkhana events. The race track was too wet to hold the remaining wheel stand competition. However, the early finish was celebrated by attendees as they revelled in the rain, which was the biggest rainfall in over a year and nearly half of 2013’s total rainfall of 74.9 ml. The only other major fall since June 2012 was 30.2 ml in February 2014.

Sam Dillon, Birdsville Longest Jump competitor

Sam Dillon, Birdsville Longest Jump competitor

Competitor Dave Hannan, from Birdsville, said the rain didn’t dampen the crowds’ spirits at all. “I don’t think it concerned anyone because we were all just happy to see the rain,” he said. “It certainly settled the dust.” He said that he’s already looking forward to next year’s Betoota Gymkhana. “It’s a very well-run event. My kids had a ball and it was good for us all to get out on the bikes in such a safe and friendly environment,” he said. “I was surprised by the amount of people there – it was a great turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”


Official 2014 Betoota Gymkhana leading rider results are as follows:

Hayden & Ashlee Lasker Memorial Encouragement Award: Jesse Lorenz, Durrie Station, Birdsville

10yrs & Under leading Rider: Jacob Kath, Mt Leonard Station, Betoota

Emma brook Cordillo Downs 8 years & Under Leading rider bike

Emma brook Cordillo Downs 8 years & Under Leading rider bike

15 years & Under: Marie Field, Jundah

Leading Open Rider: Jacob Hutherroth, Glengyle Station, Bedourie

Encouragement Award: Megan Brook, Cordillo Downs, Birdsville
Under 8 Leading Rider: Emma Brook, Cordillo Downs, Birdsville
8- 11 yrs Leading Rider: Dean Woods, Durrie Station, Birdsville
12-15 yrs leading Rider: Boof Matheson, Jundah
Leading Open Rider: Aron Rayner, Jundah
Longest Jump Winner: Aaron Maunsell, Jundah.

1st: Nick Dillon, Birdsville 5:10.01
2nd: Aaron Maunsell, Birdsville 5:10.27
3rd: Matthew Johnson, Leigh Crk SA 5:16.17

Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Dirranbandi Showgirls 2014 sThe 2014 Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl competition was held at the Dirranbandi Show on Saturday 12 April. This year’s competition saw 6 entrants from the district who were all very enthusiastic and eager to represent Dirranbandi and the Show Society. In the lead up to the show the entrants sold raffle tickets to raise money for the Show Society, with the fundraising efforts coming in just under $2000. They also promoted the show and encouraged attendance and participation.

Chloe with SkytransThe 2014 Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl title was presented to Chloe Brown, with Rebecca Troy awarded the runner up. Chloe enjoyed the experience of being a showgirl entrant and was delighted to take out the title. Chloe will now go on to represent Dirranbandi at the South West Sub-Chamber on the 28th of June. We wish her all the best at the next level. We would also like to thank Skytrans for their contribution of a return flight to Brisbane for this year’s Showgirl Winner. Skytrans are a great sponsors of local events in our community and we thank them for their continued support.



Yamba the Honeyant’s BrilliANT Roadshow

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Yamba Roadshow LogoFor the past three years, early childhood audiences in remote communities and towns of the Northern Territory and Queensland have been learning about the importance of healthy lifestyles with the aid of an immensely popular television character, Yamba the Honeyant.

Based in Alice Springs, Imparja Television’s mascot, Yamba, and best friend Jacinta Price have performed to over 8000 children*. They spread positive health messages in a fun and entertaining way as part of the Local Community Campaign to Promote Better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program called Yamba’s Roadshow. Yamba Jacinta Chuck02s

The roadshow musical performances feature original songs, dance and actions. They are presented promoting proper nutrition and hygiene, regular physical activity, trachoma prevention, ear and nose health, and the use of primary health care services.

A set of 15 animated television presentations featuring Yamba and encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviours have also been produced. These have been used as Community Service Announcements on Imparja Television reaching an estimated viewing audience of nearly 1,000,000 as well as on the popular preschool show Yamba’s Playtime which was broadcast Australia wide on GO! Roadshow Updates are also broadcast on Imparja, featuring where the duo have visited and performed.

Maranoa KINDY Roma sWaterbottles and toothbrushes are given to the preschoolers and resources such as the roadshow musical CD, ‘stay healthy and strong’ posters and colouring in pages are given to schools, teachers, parents, carers and health workers to follow up on the messages presented.

Recently, Yamba’s Roadshow visited South West Queensland again. Charleville, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, Bollon, St George, Surat, Roma, Toowoomba and Millmerran all enjoyed Yamba and Jacinta’s visit to their town.

Skytrans kindly sponsored flights for the roadshow from Brisbane to various towns in the South West. Skytrans will also sponsor flights for when the Roadshow crew fly throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria in May/June. Yamba Jacinta Skytranss

Yamba and Jacinta would like to sincerely thank Skytrans for their support and contributing towards raising awareness within communities that chronic disease conditions are preventable, and encouraging them to use health services.

*From February 2011 to end of March 2014.

Doomadgee Fishing Competition

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

IMG_7015-2 (Medium)On Saturday the 22nd of March 2014 the Queensland Police Service Doomadgee Station hosted their annual Fishing Competition. The community of Doomadgee has strong passion for fishing — and took to this year’s competition….like a fish to water! The event is getting bigger and better each year — and this year was certainly no exception.IMG_7212-2 (Medium)

A conglomerate of the community participated in the day’s events —men, women and children — and 160 people officially registered for the competition. Feedback from the local community was overwhelmingly positive — with the community now keen to see more of these events happen each year.

IMG_7283-2 (Medium)Strong support for the competition was also received from local businesses, local and State government organisations. Skytrans provided first prize — a return trip for two persons to Mount Isa.  The lucky winner, Edith Daly, was awarded this fantastic prize for her catch of the day weighing in at 4.7kg.

The department of Indigenous Sport and Recreation provided fishing equipment for second and third place prizes, along with big support from the Doomadgee Roadhouse and local Doomadgee retail store contributing their time and efforts in order to support the event. Prizes were awarded to best male and female adult and best male and female child based on IMG_7226-2 (Medium)weight and length of their catch.  There were also prizes awarded to the best angler who caught the most fish of the day and also a lucky door prize.

IMG_7164-2 (Medium)Hosting such events enables police to interact with the community in a positive manner and to build relationships with influential members of the local community. Moreover, these events highlight the important role Queensland Police play in partnering with all members of the community. To that end — the competition saw a significant decrease in calls for service on the day, in the lead up to and for the days after the competition.

The positive energy generated amongst the community on the day of the competition was palpable — with Police, community, business and families alike united as one in the spirit of competition. Hosting these types of events is proof how the simplest of ideas can unite a community, bring families from various cultural groups together with purpose and bring to life a fun day for everyone.


Toowoomba Wellcamp Open Day – 24 November 2013

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

November saw an incredible 18,000 people attend the first open day of the new Toowoomba airport.  Called Brisbane West Wellcamp, the new airport is approximately 16 kilometres to the west of Toowoomba’s CBD.

Visitors to the open day were treated to entertainment from the likes of Tania Kernaghan and witness to a spectacular blast of 500,000 tonnes of rock – the largest non-mining detonation in Australia’s history.

Skytrans was proud to be associated with the open day

Skytrans was proud to be associated with the open day

The blasted stone will be used to for further construction of the Wellcamp site.

Skytrans flew a Dash-8 300 aircraft into the half-finished runway and while not being the first aircraft to land, it was the heaviest aircraft to that point.  Five double return tickets were on offer as part of a competition run on the day and visitors were able to get on board and see a plane up close and it was one of the more popular exhibits on the day.


Bravehearts child safety program spreads its wings in remote FNQ with Skytrans

Monday, October 14th, 2013
BraveheartsMore kids in remote areas of Far North Queensland will get access to Bravehearts acclaimed personal safety program following a sponsorship deal between the child protection organisation and Skytrans Airlines.
The federally-funded Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show will now reach more than 14,000 kids annually in Far North Queensland as Bravehearts continues to deliver the program in lower primary school and child care centres across the region.
Since its inception in 2008, Bravehearts Cairns has educated 63,208 children, covering a vast area from Cape York in the north to Rockhampton and as far west as Mt Isa.
The partnership with Skytrans will see the intrepid Cairns-based education team reach more regional and remote locations, including indigenous communities.
Bravehearts Founder and Executive Director Hetty Johnston, said the Skytrans sponsorship will ensure kids in remote areas do not miss out on ‘vital’ safety messages to help protect them against child sexual assault.
“Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure is a wonderful program and it should be made available to all kids in every nook and cranny of the country,” she said.
“Skytrans have helped to make this a reality in Far North Queensland and we’re delighted to be on board. Bravehearts Cairns is supported by Royal Flying Doctors Service and Cape York AFL and this latest partnership brings a new dimension to the way we can deliver services.
“Bravehearts will leave no stone unturned as we continue our mission to stop child sexual assault in our society. We will achieve this by exchanging ideas, building friendships and delivering effective child protection programs into these amazing communities, working with children, elders and parents.
“The incredible success of these programs has been a culmination of hard work, determination, mutual trust and a genuine respect for the culture and individualism of each community.”
Skytrans Managing Director Simon Wild, said he ‘proudly’ supported Bravehearts and its vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.
“We pride ourselves on providing professional aviation services to some of the most remote parts of Australia and I can proudly say we’re now helping Bravehearts to deliver its wonderful education program to those areas,” he said.
Skytrans also offers extensive charter services throughout Australia and the South West Pacific from our bases in Cairns, Darwin, Brisbane and Perth.
The Ditto program is a live 30-minute production aimed at children from pre-school to Grade 3 that effectively teaches children strategies and skills to stay safe in a range of situations from sexual assault to bullying. The program teaches personal safety skills and underpins children’s instinctive understandings and feelings around their personal safety in a way that is non-confronting, safe and highly effective.

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you think about how you and your family are going to survive.


In a major disaster, high winds, rising floodwaters, debris or damaged roads can prevent emergency services from reaching you.

Your community could be isolated and essential services disrupted for up to three days or more.

During a large scale event emergency services will focus on assisting the most vulnerable in the community.

You may not have immediate access to support and will need to rely on the supplies and equipment you have on hand at home.

If you were isolated right now, would you be prepared?


 For more information contact;

Emergency Management Queensland

Community Engagement Officer Christopher Wegger or 40328682






Skytrans increases support of Gulf Savannah Development

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The managing director of Skytrans, Simon Wild, has announced that the airline will increase its in-kind support of Gulf Savannah Development with a two year agreement valued at $14,000 in flights.

Since 2010 Skytrans has supported the organisation with flights equivalent in value to $5000 per year.

Rob Macalister, CEO of Gulf Savannah Development said it is great to see Skytrans coming on board with increased sponsorship that will underpin the future success of its small business service.

“Skytrans support will make it easier to get our business mentors into the field and provide valuable, personal advice. The Gulf Savannah is a region of economic growth and the small business service is helping our business community take advantage of the many opportunities that are emerging in our part of the world.

“Latest ABS statistics show that the Gulf Savannah economy enjoyed strong growth between 2009 and 2011 with the total number of businesses increasing by almost 10 per cent. In addition there was a whopping 89 per cent increase in businesses employing over 20 employees. Similarly, businesses turning over more than $500,000 per annum increased by 33 per cent in the same period,” said Mr Macalister.

According to Mr Macalister the growth phase, in spite of the Global Financial Crisis, was initiated on the back of extensive government investment in Gulf infrastructure that included the replacement of the Einasleigh River bridge, sealing of the Karumba airstrip and various road upgrades.

Mr Wild said he is confident Skytrans increased support will help Gulf Savannah Development in its quest to further develop population and economic growth in the Gulf of Carpentaria and while reinforcing its message that the Gulf Savannah is well and truly ‘open for business’.

“We know the value of doing business face to face, particularly in remote areas – and trust that our provision of flights will go a long way to heightening the success of Gulf Savannah Development’s ‘small business’ initiative,” he said.

Mornington Island Mayor Bradley Wilson, Burke Shire Mayor Ernie Camp, Skytrans’ Steve Jones and Carpentaria Shire Mayor Fred Pascoe at the Gulf Savannah Development Board Meeting in Cairns.

Skytrans Provides Lift for Frontier Services

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The Managing Director of Skytrans, Simon Wild announced today details of a community partnership with Frontier Services that will strengthen the provider’s network of services and care delivered to remote families across Queensland.

Under the partnership, Skytrans will provide Frontier Services’ staff with flights to remote locations across Queensland to enable the provision of vital services; particularly children’s services for young families and health care in remote communities.

“Skytrans operates to some of Queensland’s most isolated and remote communities and understands

the challenges that people in these communities face on a daily basis, in terms of quality of life. Through our partnership with Frontier Services we feel that we are making a contribution that offers people access to a service that provides social and emotional support to those in need,” he said.

According to Frontier Services Regional Manager, Karen Harvey, the partnership will assist child care workers with the Frontier Services Remote Family Care Service to reach isolated families and provide relief child care for up to three weeks a year.

The Remote Family Care Service works alongside the Frontier Services Remote Area Families Service (RAFS). FiveRAFS teams of trained early childhood specialists travel out to remote properties and communities in four-wheel-drive vehicles, jam-packed with educational toys and activities for the children. They also provide resources, advice and support to the parents.

Frontier Services also has two health care services in Queensland; the Savannah Regional Health Service and the Bollon Bush Nursing Centre. The Savannah Regional Health Service, based out of Georgetown, played an active role in helping the community recover from Cyclone Yasi.

Ms Harvey said that in effect, “The families, who are a long way from mainstream child care services, can access the service when they need it most, for example during shearing, mustering or hardship.

“Being able to access the flights to get our child care workers around the state will make a huge difference. It will give us more flexibility to respond to a family’s request, particularly if there is an urgent need. It will also greatly reduce travel time for the child care workers, many of whom are on the road for weeks at a time.

“We are delighted to begin this partnership with Skytrans that will strengthen the whole region as we work together to support remote Queensland,” she said.


John Dickinson, Frontier Services National Development Manager with Skytrans Managing Director Simon Wild.

Karen Harvey, Frontier Service QLD Regional Manager; Anna Burley, Frontier Services Primary Health Care Nurse & Team Leader of the Savannah Regional Health Service; Steve Jones, Skytrans Commercial Manager of RPT Services; Billy Gordon, Skytrans Community Development Manager.