The Reverend John Flynn, OBE (25 November 1880 – 5 May 1951) was an Australian Presbyterian minister and aviator who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the world's first air ambulance.
Flynn was born in the gold rush town of Moliagul, about 202 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. His mother died in childbirth when Flynn was three, and he spent part of his childhood growing up with relatives. Flynn moved to Sunshine, now an outer western suburb of Melbourne as a child, where he completed secondary school in 1898, and began working as a schoolteacher. By 1903 he decided he wished to become a Presbyterian minister, and entered Ormond College, a college of the University of Melbourne to study divinity in 1907. He graduated in 1910 and was ordained in 1911.
Throughout his training, Flynn had worked in various then-remote areas through Victoria and South Australia, and his second posting after ordination was to the Smith of Dunesk Mission at Beltana, a tiny settlement 500 kilometres north of Adelaide. Beltana is a relatively isolated place even today and in those days was extremely remote. By 1912, after writing a report for his church superiors on the difficulties of