Tony Carter has been a remote area nurse for 30 years.

Story + Photos Anthony Ham

Remote nursing is not for everyone. In Innamincka, north-eastern SA, in February, the mercury often approaches 50°C. You’re a day’s journey from the nearest town. And there are many times when you’re very much on your own. But when Tony Carter, a registered nurse at Innamincka’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) clinic, first arrived out here to work in 1986, he fell in love with the whole experience. 

“I came up to fill in over Christmas/New Year,” he says. “And I thought, ‘Geez, this is a bloody good gig!
I could do this’.”

Tony loved the laid-back encounters he had with people in the bush. “They’re down-to-earth people up here,” he says. “They’re not scared of showing a bit of emotion. They don’t cry on your shoulder. But in the city, everyone is wary. In Adelaide, you have to be very careful what you say. Up here, you can say, ‘Come on mate. Don’t be a dickhead. You’re going to hurt yourself if you keep doing that.’” 

This story excerpt is from Issue #145

Outback Magazine: October/November 2022