[24] YBAF Bugsmashers

Team Captain: Deni Keeshan

Other Member: Rhys Wellington and Matt Antoine

Aircraft: Cessna C182S VH-WPL

Fundraising Page: 


The YBAF BugSmashers have been mates for many years and have spent over 50 years collectively working for volunteer organisations all over Australia.  Always looking for new challenges and adventures, the thee members decided to look at other ways of donating time to other special interest groups.  One night, over dinner and drinks Deni floated the idea of competing in the Outback Air Race, as it had been at the top of her adventure list for some time.  After a bit of discussion about the race and the valuable money it raises for the RFDS, the team was born.

The YBAF BugSmashers are made up of three members:

Deni’s background as a pilot is the obvious perfect platform to build a team around. She has spent much of her flying career working in remote areas all over the world, and more recently has been training in specialist remote area rescue in the New Zealand highlands. She has 40 years of flying experience under her belt, is a director of the Brisbane Flying Group and Captain of the Queensland Aero Club based at Archerfield.

Matt has a background in the army in a recon role, and has since moved onto working as a problem management specialist for Australia’s largest telco. No challenge is too daunting for Matt, and is always keen to come up with innovative ideas to complex problems (perfect for thinking up ways to fundraise!).

Rhys’s background lies in IT systems, but is also a keen outdoors person. He has spent many years working on all things mechanical, and loves being anywhere away from civilisation.

Both Rhys and Matt will take up the challenge of navigation for the race, as well as providing video production and managing social media traffic along the route.

The Teams goal is to raise as much money for the Royal Flying Doctors Service as possible. The RFDS is one of the largest aero medical services in the world, covering more than 7 million square kilometres. Last year, the RFDS flew over 24 Million kilometres, which is enough distance to fly you to the moon and back 34 times.

When you donate money, it goes directly to helping the RFDS buy medical equipment that they would otherwise not be able to afford. This equipment is primarily used on their fleet of 66 aircraft all over Australia, but the donations made to the Bugsmashers, goes to the QLD branch of the RFDS. 

The equipment that they purchase from the generous support of the public, helped them to provide lifesaving treatment to over 36,000 Australians last year alone.

As the year progresses, we will posting up new goals for fundraising. Our current goal is $6,000 but, with your support, we aim to raise well in excess of this.