CHUFFED: Evan Aldridge, of Sekisui House (left), with CareFlight Deputy Chairman and Life Member of CareFlight Don Moffatt.
CHUFFED: Evan Aldridge, of Sekisui House (left), with CareFlight Deputy Chairman and Life Member of CareFlight Don Moffatt. Patrick Woods

Buderim man named in Australia Day Honours

UPDATE: LifeFlight chairman Rob Borbidge has congratulated recently retired LifeFlight deputy chairman and director Don Moffatt on being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours list announced today.

Mr Moffatt, of Buderim, received the award for significant services to the Sunshine Coast community, and to the aero-medical industry and its lifesaving organisation LifeFlight, its predecessor company CareFlight as well as the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Service (which merged with LifeFlight in 2013).

Mr Moffatt has served on the boards of all three organisations.
"Don has devoted much of his life to providing his experience, expertise and leadership to the boards of lifesaving aero-medical services and this award is due recognition for the work that he has done," Mr Borbidge said.

"Aero-medical services like LifeFlight have a proud record of saving lives and last year we performed a record number of missions, both fixed and rotary wing."

EARLIER: Don's lucky to be living his dreams

FEW people are lucky enough to live their childhood dream.

Donald Leslie Moffatt has been lucky enough to live almost all of his.

For years, the Buderim man has distinguished himself in the Sunshine Coast community and this Australia Day, has been recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant contributions to helicopter rescue services in Queensland and the horse-racing industry.

"Honestly, I'm chuffed about it all," Mr Moffatt said.

"It's a great honour and it represents a lot of work by a lot of people, I'm just lucky to be the one getting the award."

The air force veteran said he'd spent the best part of 20 years working with helicopters, first flying over the jungles of Vietnam in 1968, then instructing rookies in his craft, and finally settling down on the Sunshine Coast to launch the first helicopter rescue service in Australia.

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He said being part of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Service, which merged with LifeFlight in 2013, was one of his proudest achievements.

"I was very very pleased to do that," he said.

"I think the world of the service and I think it does a fantastic job.

"It's particularly heartening to me that the helicopter services remote and regional people of Queensland, who without it, would have very little help from anywhere else."

Thanks to Mr Moffatt, continuous upgrades and improvements were able to be made to the rescue choppers, including twin-engine aircraft and night-vision goggles, which have enabled more than 1000 rescue missions each year.

"If you have an accident out on a property somewhere, there would be no better noise than the whoop-whoop of those helicopter blades, because then you know someone is coming to take care of you," he said.

The dedicated pilot also poured plenty into his other passion, horse racing.

He served as director of the Sunshine Coast Racing Unit Trust from 2006-2009 and the deputy chairman of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club for a year in 2008.

In this endeavour, he succeeded in securing a synthetic track for the Caloundra club, organised Sunday race meets and brought lights to the venue, making it one of the few night-time racing venues in Australia.

"In both cases, they were just a fabulous bunch of guys and it was an absolute pleasure to work with those blokes," he said.

"I'm very proud that we were able to keep both organisations going from success to success."

Reflecting on all of these achievements, Mr Moffatt said he's "stoked" to now enter the Order of Australia and thanked his support network for seeing him through all the hard work.

"It's all been really rewarding and I'm very pleased about it," he said.

"I've been very very lucky to have lived my dream."


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