About Us

In 1928, Reverend Dr John Flynn (1880-1951), a South Australian Presbyterian minister in charge of the Australian Inland Mission recognised the need and potential for combining aircraft and radio communications to provide medical and emergency services in Australia's remote regions.On 17May 1928 the first RFDS flight, in a fabric-covered De Havilland model DH50 aircraft on-loan from the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service (now known as Qantas), took-off from Cloncurry in Queensland. In 1930 the service went national and became known as the Aerial Medical Service. The Royal Flying Doctor Service was born, taking on it's current name in 1942 and received its Royal moniker in 1955.Alfred Traeger invented the first pedal radios used. Communications was via morse code until the mid 1930's when voice communications became possible. In 1951 the 'School of the Air' was established, linking children in remote regions with teachers and classrooms. In some cases this was the first time many of the children had one-on-one contact with a teacher and other students. In the 1990's School of the Air was renamed to 'School of Distance Education', with Satellite, Internet and Telcommunications technologies (IDL) replacing the radio network for delivery of education curriculum.
Visit Katherine School of the Air web-siteIn the following years many changes to the R.F.D.S radio network came about, such changes seen the rise in private HF Radio Networks, with seven such networks currently in operation. Austravel Safetynet is one such network, providing HF radio communications and emergency contact services to travellers throughout Australia.
AUSTRAVELSAFETYNET  was born in November 2010 and as a result of frustration with the involvement with other Networks.  
People have asked “why do we need another network” 
Roy Watkins - Austravel Safetynet answers.
Well from my point of view, having operated and been on the committee with the other networks for more than 15 years, I found them to be either incompetent or unfriendly, unscrupulous, unreliable, have no scheds or they are too expensive and I considered that communication with members  could be handled differently and much better.   We are doing the best that we can for our membership and hopefully, achieving our goal and always open to constructive input to improve our operations.   
I have the belief that Scheds or scheduled daily radio broadcasts or “Nets” are essential for new comers to radio transmissions to allow members to become familiar with their radio equipment.   There is no time to learn how to make a call in times of emergency....  You need to know how to contact a base or fellow travellers and be reasonably competent in doing so.  Just like any piece of technology, all members travelling in a vehicle or group need some knowledge on how to operate or call for assistance in case of Emergency.  In other words, don’t rely on just one person.  That person may be the one requiring the assistance. 
AustravelSafetynet is the friendly ‘Travellers Radio Network’ or “Travellers Net” for Outback travellers and “Grey Nomads” Spending their Kids Inheritance.     Our aim is to be the best network, to provide re-assurance to all travellers around and within Australia and provide contact with you wherever you may be.  You are NOT Alone when you are a member of AUSTRAVELSAFETYNET!!