Annette Smith (Netty) is fiercely passionate about and dedicated to her local Emerald community
Acumentis’ State Director of Regional Operations (North), Netty, is a born and bred Emerald local. Here she has raised her family, established a thriving construction business with her husband, and shaped her own successful career as a property valuer. None of this would have been possible without the support and involvement of her local community – her village!
Living rurally poses many struggles when medical attention is required with the nearest major hospital 280 kilometers away in Rockhampton, with further services in Brisbane being 1,000km away. Another cause close to her heart is the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS). The RFDS provides a vital and lifesaving link between regional Australia and critical healthcare.
Annette counts her blessing that she hasn’t personally had to call on the RFDS, however many of her family and friends have had to make that dreaded call, and some wouldn’t be here today without the service the RFDS provides.
One of these friends, whose daughter was seriously injured in a horse-riding accident and flown to Brisbane for critical care is a keen pilot and decided to take part in the Outback Air Race to raise much-needed funds for the RFDS
So, when the family friends reached out to Netty to help support their fundraising efforts, she and her family jumped at the chance.
What is the Outback Air Race?
Think variety bash in the sky. The Outback Air Race is a major fundraising event for the RFDS that takes place every three years. The race is made up of fundraising teams, pilots, and passengers and spans over 2 weeks from August 29 – September 11, 2022. Teams fly between Darwin and Coffs Harbour over some of Australia's most geographically challenging and breathtaking landscapes.
The self-funded Emerald team – The Comanche Flyers consists of Wal McDowall, Tom Staines & Ian Campbell set a fundraising target of $22,000.
Let the fun-draising begin!
With a $22,000 target in sight Rach McDowall and Netty got busy organising a black-tie fundraising event to kick start the donations with $100 dollars from every event ticket sale going directly to the RFDS.
With abundant support from local businesses from photographers to caterers, styling and furniture hire companies to incredible prize donations for raffles and a silent auction. It was heart-warming to see the generosity of the Emerald community to bring the event to life.
Annette also drew on her broader business network and national partners like ANZ who eagerly provided support. Kate Donavan, ANZ Regional Ag Manager said “At ANZ, we are so happy to be involved and donate to this event with businesses like Acumentis that value the regions and support within. The RFDS is a wonderful cause which is so important to many in our area.”
A night under the stars
The fundraising event took place on Saturday 16 July attended by members of the local community, business leaders, and some from further afield. Hosted under a blanket of stars in the Smith’s Emerald backyard, 200 guests enjoyed an evening of delicious food, entertainment, and uplifting community spirit.
The Smith children and their friends took on the duties of food servers and made their family very proud.
Raffles and a silent auction assisted further with the fundraising and the evening raised a whopping $32,000 in funds for the RFDS.
“From the heart, how many times in our lives do we get to contribute and take part in events that benefit so many. I have never been more excited to do something for my community and in truth the larger environment that benefits from the RFDS. I’m so proud of what we achieved.”
Show us your support
Despite the growing demand for RFDS services, federal funding has remained unchanged since 2006.
If you’d like to get behind this great cause and cheer on The Comanche Flyers, head to the link below to donate now.
At the time of publishing the Comanche Flyers team are in second place on the fundraising leader board, having well exceeded their fundraising, target let’s help get them to first place.
“We owe it to ourselves, our families, our friends and even those we don’t know to support the RFDS” Annette Smith, Acumentis
At Acumentis we believe there is nothing more important than the communities we live and work in and supporting those around us. This fundraising effort is a true act of community support and spirit, and we are proud of our team members across the nation for their active involvement in these initiatives.
Acumentis proudly provided a donation, marketing, and communications support, and a prize contribution to help in the endeavours of this fundraising event. We would also like to acknowledge all the generous local and national businesses and individuals that donated time, money, and services to bring this vision to life and support such a valuable cause.