Wine Symposium raises crucial funds for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service


Rob Borbidge Chairman of LifeFlight and Travis Schultz

The tantalising taste of the perfect drop and more than 20 winemakers helped to make the Travis Schultz Law Wine Symposium bigger and better than ever, connecting more than 400 bizoids and raising $8,500 in critical cash for RACQ Lifeflight Rescue.

The event – held at the USC Innovation Centre – hasn’t been hosted for six years but Queensland’s leading compensation lawyer and wine connoisseur Travis Schultz was ready to bring back the successful soirée for a cause that’s close to his heart.

Travis Schultz said he was excited to bring together professionals from across the Sunshine Coast, members of the community and some of his favourite wineries and winemakers to sip on some fine wine from all around the world on Friday 28 February.

“It was a spectacular night which attracted celebrity chef and winemaker Stefano Di Piere as well as Gwyn Olsen from Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree Wines,” Mr Schultz said.

“We also welcomed Mayor Mark Jamieson, Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer, Hon Rob Borbidge AO, Jarrod Bliejie MP, Mark McArdle MP, Dan Purdie MP, Marty Hunt MP and Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie and Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford.

“All of these people are working closely to create an agricultural/export hub from the Sunshine Coast Airport so events like this are a great way to connect the right people, especially with our plan to expand the event to include local food producers in the future.

“The Wine Symposium not only brought an incredible group of people together, it also raised funds to help give the Sunshine Coast RACQ Lifeflight Rescue base a face lift.”

The money was raised through raffling off a generous $5,000 cash prize from a local bank and caseloads of wine donated by each of the charitable wineries who exhibited at the symposium.

An extensive renovation of the LifeFlight Marcoola base is expected to be complete this year and will include upgrades to the medical storage room, the hangar and office space.

LifeFlight's Director of Aeromedical Services, David Donaldson said the function of the building has evolved over the years and this project will properly fit out the office and other facilities, to suit current operations.

"Changes to the medical storeroom aids our RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Critical Care Doctors in their lifesaving efforts," Mr Donaldson said.

"The renovations to the hangar space will also see an improvement to our ability to facilitate internal training - both flight and ground based."

The upgrade to the base is timely, as the Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter completed 541 missions in 2019 costing $6.7 million, making it one of the organisation's busiest bases. The full cost of the renovation project is $84,450.

As a board member of RACQ Lifeflight Rescue Travis Schultz said the not-for-profit organisation relies heavily on donations to survive.

“When you hear the stories of survival and the gratitude from the families who get to hold their loved ones again, it’s hard not to donate – this service goes above and beyond every single day,” Mr Schultz said.

“I am so grateful for the people who dug a little deeper into their pockets at the Wine Symposium and helped the service to continue carrying out critical life-saving missions.”

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1. Cardiac (130)

2. Motor vehicle accidents (96)

3. Serious illness/infection (34)

4. Neurological (34)

5. Falls (31)

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue:

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue has made a difference to the lives of thousands of Queenslanders, having come to the aid of more than 56,000 people since 1979. Every day, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews treat seriously ill or critically injured patients, while providing rapid-response airlifts to hospitals across the state and around the world.

With a fleet including three fixed wing aircraft based in Brisbane and Townsville, as well as ten rotary wing assets operating out of seven bases across the Sunshine State, the vital service provides assurance to people that emergency medical care is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.

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