Bringing joy and laughter to sick children

23 May 2024

In a display of community engagement, six aviators from RAAF Base Edinburgh recently visited the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.

Comprising aircrew, engineers, a space operator, and a medical assistant, the group sought to bring smiles to the faces of young patients. 

The aviators visited hospital wards during their visit, interacting with patients and staff. They met the hospital's clown doctors and even appeared on the Captain Starlight Team's daily hospital TV show, where they fielded a range of questions from the audience.

Hayley McDonald, Director of Communications at the hospital, expressed gratitude for the visit, and described its positive impact on the children. 

“Thank you to the RAAF Base Edinburgh team for visiting and providing a fun and memorable experience to the children in our care," she said.

From inquiries about aircraft speeds to the logistics of using the restroom in-flight, the aviators entertained and enlightened their young audience, eliciting giggles and sparking imaginations. 

For Flight Lieutenant Justin McCoy, a flying instructor with 292 Squadron, the visit offered a poignant perspective on the challenges faced by families dealing with serious illnesses. 

"Talking to children who were undergoing cancer treatment and blood transfusions was humbling, providing a new dimension to courage,” he said.

Air Force teddy bears proved a popular souvenir among younger children, while older kids eagerly dove into assembling and launching P-8A Poseidon paper plane kits down the ward corridors. 

Group Captain Greg Weller is responsible for Air Force engagement and relationships in South Australia. 

"It is important that we build partnerships in the local community with organisations such as the Women’s and Children’s Hospital," Group Captain Weller said.

"By building community engagement, there can be a better understanding of the needs of our serving personnel and their families."



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