BUSH LEGEND: Geoffrey Carrick donated $6 million to RFDS allowing them to purchase four new Beechcraft King Air B200's.
BUSH LEGEND: Geoffrey Carrick donated $6 million to RFDS allowing them to purchase four new Beechcraft King Air B200's. RFDS

Grazier's $6m gift to charity

HE WILL never see the impact of his generous gift, but one man is set to leave an indelible mark on rural Queenslanders.  

A six million dollar donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service was one of the last philanthropic acts Einasleigh grazier Geoffrey Carrick performed, and it is one that will save countless lives for years to come.

Mr Carrick died last year at the age of 73, bequeathing the proceeds from his $10 million property to between the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Children's Hospital Foundation.

As a result, Mr Carrick donated more than $6 million to RFDS, the largest donation the Queensland chapter has ever received, which contributed to the purchase of four new planes - of which two will be based in Cairns, one in Mount Isa and the other in Roma.

One of them will be named 'Geoffrey Carrick' in honour of the north Queensland grazier.

RFDS spokeswoman Heather Stott said the organisation was lost for words Mr Carrick's post humorous gift.

"This by far exceeds any gift we have ever received before," Mrs Stott said.

"The wonderful thing about Geoffrey was he was incredibly frugal man, but so fabulously generous with his philanthropy.

"He never spent any money on himself at all and so for us it is very joyful for us to receive and also incredibly sad because every time Geoffrey held himself back from life's pleasures we have benefited from that and it's very humbling to think that his frugality and his lack of excess has led to the people of Queensland benefiting from a magnificent gift.

"Yesterday we took the 'Geoffrey Carrick' out for its inaugural flight and we did fly past over his Einasleigh property to honour him."

A man for the bush

Geoffrey Carrick lived on a 138-square kilometre property with his mother, until she passed away a few years ago, and is said to have always held the people of the bush in his heart.

Mrs Stott said Mr Carrick was a marvellous man who cared about keeping his cattle healthy and looking after his fellow Queenslanders.

"He has always had the people of the bush in his heart, donating to the RFDS for more than a decade with his donations growing in size over the years.

"Geoffrey lived with his mother who passed away a few years back, but the executives of his estate told us when they had to go through the belongings they found that his mother kept everything, including receipts where they found that the charitable giving to the RFDS started with her many decades ago - passing on that philanthropic nature.

"After a hard days of work in summer he'd have one beer and in winter he'd have a lukewarm bottle of coke, that was it."

Mrs Stott said Mr Carrick would be remembered by many for his generous nature.

"Geoffrey look after wild animals as well, he fed rufus rats every evening," Mrs Stott said.

"Apparently when the undertaker came to pick up Geoffrey from his station and put him in the hearse, as they were driving away, it was around feeding time ... and all the little rufus rats came out and lined the drive way and stood guard as he was taken away.

"It just makes you think what a beautiful man he must've been."

Donations critical to the southwest

Mr Carrick's $6 million contribution was well received by the RFDS, who have just spent $13 million on four new plans and equipment that transport nurses, doctors and mental health clinicians across the state, ensuring the best patient outcome is achieved.

"We are on our knees in humble gratitude to Mr Carrick," Mrs Stott said.

"It is critical that we are able to upgrade our aircraft regularly and that equipment is upgraded because we need to have the very best equipment on board with the best trained staff.

"There's no negotiating that to ensure the best patient outcomes are guaranteed in the southwest, let alone Queensland."

Mrs Stott said Roma's new plane will mean the crew are much more nimble and able to respond.

"We pride ourselves on getting to everyone in Queensland within in two hours," Mrs Stott said.

"The most painful bit about my job is never getting to say thank you to people like Geoffrey who leave these gifts behind."


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