FNA Committee

The Flight Nurses Australia Committee changes in August/September of every year. The committee elected in 2023 is currently shown on this page.

If you want to know more about any of our committee members please click on their name.

Colleen Reid – President

RN/RM with Post Graduate Diploma in Aeromedical Retrieval, Post Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Health Aspects of Disaster Medicine. I have currently deferred studies for my Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  I hold ALSO, TNCC, MIMMS commander and Remote Pre-Hospital Trauma Response qualifications. Previously I have also completed training with AusMAT (Australian Medical Assistance Team).

I was a student nurse in 2005 with RFDS QLD section and just knew flight nursing was the job for me. Lots of amazing international travel and jobs all across the north from FNQ to the NT and into WA, including working out on some remote islands followed. So it wasn’t until 9 years later, while travelling in South America, I decided to apply for the midwifery scholarship with RFDS Western Operations. I was successful and had to move from Derby, WA to Brisbane, QLD to complete my midwifery studies. I then was posted to the RFDS base in Kalgoorlie, WA in 2015. Working as a flight nurse only enhanced my passion to help unite and drive this industry further for all flight nurses. I now manage education and student placements in Kalgoorlie and I enjoy passing on the passion of flight nursing to student nurses, recruiting for the future of our industry. I was lucky enough to be one of the previous recipients of the Kaye Melmeth Grant and attend the COASTN aeromedical retrieval course in New Zealand which was a fantastic experience.

I grew up in the NT on Groote Eylandt and have worked in many communities developing a passion for Indigenous Health. I have a keen interest in photography and have the best job to see lots of amazing things you don’t see anywhere else. I am married with two beautiful children and in any spare time we have we like to play sport, camp and travel.

Hayden Wilson – Vice President

Flight Nurse RFDS Queensland – Endorsed Nurse Practitioner

I am a Registered Nurse / Registered Midwife working as a Flight Nurse with the Rockhampton Base of Royal Flying Doctors Service (Queensland Section). With nearly 5 years’ experience as a Flight Nurse. My interest in Flight Nursing was peaked at just 15 years of age, living on Norfolk Island. I was a volunteer ambulance officer at the time and loved going to the airport to pick up the then Care Flight teams. From there I always knew I wanted to be just like them!

I have over 10 years’ experience as a nurse with a career focus in Emergency Nursing. But probably most exciting for me, I have recently finished my Master of Nurse Practitioner program to specialise in Emergency and Aeromedical Retrieval. Still very much a new and developing role in the retrieval world, but I am excited to share its development as it happens.  Prior to working for the RFDS my nursing career was predominantly at a quaternary teaching hospital in Brisbane including General Medicine, Neurosurgery, Emergency and Trauma.

When I’m not busy flying I am chasing after my 2 beautiful daughters, and love cooking! Having grown up on Norfolk Island I also enjoy getting away to the Capricorn Coast, a not so hidden gem that only 20 mins out of town. I look forward to contributing to the FNA committee and further supporting our awesome specialty of Nursing and Midwifery.

Judi Shields  – Secretary

RN, RM, Masters of Advanced Practice Nursing Emergency, Bachelor of Nursing, Post Grad Certificates in Emergency, Aviation Nursing and Primary Health Care.

Judi Shields first commenced Flight Nursing in 1988 in completing a 3 month orientation to Flight Nursing in Gove. She was hooked and commenced as a full time Flight Nurse in Darwin in 1990. Judi has a background in Paediatrics, Midwifery, Emergency, Indigenous Health and Remote Area Nursing.

Involved in the early development of Flight Nurses Australia Incorporated and on the Inaugural committee and served in various roles from 1994 – 2008, 2016  to present as Committee member, President and Secretary, she is a Life Member of FNA.


In 2001 Judi was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to further her research in the area of Fatigue in the Air Ambulance environment; studying at NASA and the United States Air Force. Judi has remained involved in the development of standards for Flight Nursing at a national and international level.

Judi participated as a committee member for ASA and as a member of the Aerospace Nursing section of Aerospace Medical Association. Judi has presented her research regarding Fatigue at International and National scientific meetings. As a Flight Nurse,  Judi worked for the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Qld). She was a guest lecturer of the South Australia University to rewrite the Aviation Nursing Course number two. Judi remains passionate about standards for Flight Nursing Practice, Fatigue engendered by Air Medical Crews in the Aviation/Transport environments and ‘Closing the gap’.

Judi currently works as a Clinical Nurse for Retrieval Services Queensland.

Adam Waddington RN RM – Public Officer – Committee Member

Flight Nurse NSW Air Ambulance

I have been a registered nurse since 1996 working primarily as a Emergency nurse at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney. I completed my postgraduate midwifery training in 2003 and have maintained dual qualifications since.

I have been working full time as a flight nurse with NSW Air Ambulance since October 2009. I hold the position of Clinical Nurse Specialist grade 2.

I continue to work in the ED at Liverpool Hospital on a casual basis where I also remain as a senior staff member.

On a personal front I am happily married to my beautiful wife Lyndy who is a social worker and chaplain.

Ellie Fitzgerald – Committee Member - Editor

RFDS Queensland

I am a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife. From 2015 - 2022 I was lucky enough to work at four different RFDS bases across the beautiful state of Queensland. Prior to this my nursing background was in emergency nursing and I hold postgraduate qualifications in emergency nursing, public health (aeromedical retrieval), leadership and management and child health. Most recently I have been working as a Clinical Quality Officer for the RFDS Queensland, supporting our amazing Flight Nurses and Doctors to provide quality care in the air.

Growing up in rural South Australia, I know about the Royal Flying Doctor Service as they often visited our small town to evacuate people to Adelaide. Later on, I fell into nursing by accident. After spending a couple of years travelling, working and generally having a good time, I found myself at a loose end (and broke) and decided to do nursing because my sister suggested it would be a good way to earn money while I figured out what to do with my life. Little did I know I would eventually work for the organisation that provides a lifeline to our regional and rural communities.

I am passionate about being able to provide such an important service to rural communities, and I do my best to promote the diverse and challenging career of flight nursing wherever I go.

I have two young children who keep me very busy and my secret talent is being able to memorise all the words to my son's favourite books - as long as they rhyme! 


I am passionate about being able to provide such an important service to rural communities, and I do my best to promote the diverse and challenging career of flight nursing to ensure we can continue to provide this valuable service. My professional interests include innovation and continuous improvement, mentoring both students and colleagues and nursing education.

In my spare time I am currently studying a Master of Public Health – Aeromedical Retrieval, and my husband and I enjoy camping and travelling, eating out, walking, reading and playing with our two dogs.


Carlie Manson – Committee Member

Flight Nurse LifeFlight 

I am a registered nurse flying with LifeFlight Queensland. I work primarily on our rotary wing aircraft (AW139 helicopter) and occasionally on our fixed wing fleet (Challenger 604 jets).

My first introduction to aeromedicine was working at Retrieval Services Queensland (Queensland Health’s aeromedical coordination branch). This position gave me an opportunity to see what impact Flight Nurses can have on patients and their outcomes.

My flight nurse career started in 2014 with the amazing team of flight nurses at RFDS Queensland Sections Brisbane base while working for Queensland Health as a non-midwife flight nurse. After a number of years flying with RFDS I started with my current employer LifeFlight (Formally Careflight QLD), initially flying fixed wing and 6 years ago transitioned into my current role as a member of our team of Rotary Wing Flight nurses on the AW139 helicopter based in Brisbane.

As a flight nurse with Lifeflight working across two aircraft platforms I see a unique mix of prehospital missions, search and rescue operations and critical care transfers both domestic and international. We work as part of a 4 person team (two pilots, retrieval doctor and flight nurse).

I have post graduate qualifications in critical care nursing, health service management and completed the Graduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval (JCU).

When I am not flying you will find me working in my other role as Clinical Governance and Patient Safety officer or running around after my three busy teenage children.

Overall flight nursing is challenging, exciting and rewarding. There is not a shift that passes where I am not grateful for the amazing opportunities and wonderful people this career continues to bring to my life.

John Howes

Committee Member

Watch this space! Biography to follow 

Karyn Paterson

Committee Member

Watch this space! Biography to follow 

Katie Boon – Committee Member

Watch this space! Biography to follow