Westpac Rescue Helicopter CEO stepping down after 27 years

After being at the helm of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for 27 years, CEO Richard Jones OAM has announced he will be stepping down.

He recommended to the board that is was “time to hand over the reins” after a recent health scare reinforced that it was time for him to slow down and step aside from the demanding role.

The board said they “reluctantly but respectfully accepted Mr Jones’ recommendation” and will now undertake a national search for his replacement.

Mr Jones isn’t leaving the service entirely though, he will be taking on a different role, as Head of Community Engagement.

“With an eye to the future for our Service and after having 12 months to contemplate what’s important to me and my family, the time is right for me to hand over the reins to a new leader of this wonderful organisation.”

“Leading this incredible aviation service and working closely with the community has always been incredibly rewarding for me.

“In my time, this Service has grown from a small operation into a highly professional charity, delivering world class aeromedical and rescue services while operating from three helicopter bases and our heavy maintenance, training and administrative facility, servicing the whole of Northern NSW.

“Our Board now has an opportunity to recruit the right leader with strengths in aviation leadership and commercial management while upholding the wonderful principles of community engagement and charity that have ensured our continual evolution for 48 years.

“While I may be stepping aside, I am not stepping away from our Service. I will be moving into a different role that will capitalise on my strengths, passion and advocacy as Head of Community Engagement where I will continue to work with corporate and community stakeholders to promote and grow our Service,” Mr Jones said.

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