“Rural Australia has been at the heart of the Hewitt business across four generations,” said Hewitt Group CEO Mick Hewitt.
“Growing up in the bush, I‘ve seen the Royal Flying Doctor Service provide both emergency and day-to-day care to our communities.”
Hewitt is the largest integrated supply chain of certified organic meat in Australia, and the company behind household brands such as Cleaver’s Organic, Borrowdale Free Range Pork, Warilba Organic Lamb, and Arcadian Meat.
With substantial holdings in Queensland, NSW, and Central Australia, Hewitt has over 5.6 million acres of rich agricultural land, 200,000 livestock, 15 properties, and over 270 employees.
“As a business that relies on the land – land that is steeped in over 60,000 years of First Nations history – we’re also particularly committed to achieving better healthcare outcomes for Australia’s indigenous communities.”
The RFDS is vital in turning the tide to help improve health outcomes for people living in rural and remote areas. Around 230,000 occasions of care are delivered each year between Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and the South Eastern Sections. Around 28% of the Australian population live in rural and remote areas, with data revealing people in these communities often experience poorer health outcomes when compared to city dwellers, due to less access to primary health care services.
“This first-hand experience of the RFDS’s critical work inspired Hewitt to make the donation,” added Mick.
For Indigenous communities, which make up around 32% of those living in rural and remote Australia, life expectancy is lower and there is a higher prevalence of modifiable risk factors that could lead to serious health issues such as kidney, urinary tract or coronary heart disease, injury or suicide.
The five-year partnership between Hewitt and the RFDS aims to improve the physical and mental health and well-being of people in rural, regional, and remote areas of Australia by ensuring vital medicine, health technology and medical/mental health advice is delivered.
RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said the Hewitt collaboration will go towards providing important front-line services to people in rural and remote communities.
“Our aim is to provide the finest care to the furthest corner and we’re grateful for the generous support of Hewitt over such a significant amount of time. “
“We’re continuing to work hard to provide positive and equitable health outcomes across Australia and this is only possible with the support of Australia’s rural sector,” Meredith said.
Hewitt’s history and success in family farming has been underpinned by a commitment to support the people working the land every day.
“The Hewitt vision is to feed the world with a system that lasts forever. We have strong ties to Queensland, New South Wales, and Central Australia, and four generations of experience and understanding of the challenges remote communities face,” said Mick Hewitt.
“Our partnership with the RFDS is just one way we ensure the people and communities who are behind Hewitt’s business get the support they need; at the times they need it.”
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.