Emerging leaders forum / scholarship gala dinner 8th August 2019

Our chapter hosted our first Emerging Leaders Forum in Canberra on Friday 8th August, with over 150 attendees joining us to be inspired by the incredible group of panelists who so generously gave their time to share their insight and experiences with those in attendance.  Attendees were given the opportunity to engage and connect with the panelists, seeking advice and guidance for their individual pathways. The event was incredibly successful and many were disappointed when it had to end, wishing that it could have gone on for many more hours.

The chapter would like to congratulate Lea Vesic on this event, Lea worked incredibly hard to ensure its success, she spent many hours’ days and nights working to enable all those who attended had an unforgettable experience.  After the event we held our annual AGM, where your new committee was duly elected.

  • National President – Lea Vesic
  • Vice President – Marilyn Andre
  • Secretary – Sonia McMahon
  • Treasure – Natalee Johnston
  • Education Outreach – Adrianne Fleming OAM
  • Membership Outreach & Corporate Engagement – Tammy Camilleri (Immediate Past President)

We would like to thank the committee for their continued support of the chapter and dedication to our chapter vision.

Friday evening we hosted our annual Gala Scholarship dinner, at Old Parliament House.  With guests treated to canapes and drinks on arrival, in the stunning setting of the member’s dining room and bar area.  The evening commenced with a welcome from new National President Lea Vesic and we then shared the history of our chapter and some highlights from the Emerging Leaders event with guests prior to awarding the scholarships.

The applicants for the awards were of extremely high caliber this year and it was a very difficult task for all involved to select the winners, we would like to congratulate all who applied and encourage those who were not successful this year to please re apply in the future.

Congratulations to the following award recipients:

WAI Chapter Award $5000                           Julia Kenney

WAI Chapter Award $7500                           Nathalie Gochel

WAI Chapter  Award $2500                          Michelle O’Hare

PanAir RPL/PPL Flight training Award      Amellia Formby

PanAir CPL Award Flight Training               Angela Hipwell

FlyOZ IREX Course                                           Melina O’Keeffe

FlyOZ PPL Course                                             Kristi Grafton

R&D Aeromed Award                                    Harriet Perosin


When I took on the role of National President our WAI Chapter was just evolving.  Over the last 3 ½ years, with the collective support of a hand full of passionate individuals, our chapter has grown into an incredible support network for those seeking a pathway into the aviation fields.

Walt Disney said –‘If you can Dream it, You Can Do it’

And when you believe you can, then you are half way there!

We had a dream at the very beginning to create a platform where members can come to connect, engage and be inspired.  Where the next generation of aviation and aerospace professionals could reach out for mentoring, education and support and I believe we have achieved that dream.

Setting up our chapter was a huge task, and I can honestly say the last few years have been some of the most exhilarating and often exhausting times of my life. But look at where we are today and look what we have achieved!

We have gone from a handful of people manning pop up tents at airshows, where no one knew who we were or what we did, to an organization that has quadrupled its individual membership in the last 12 months alone. 

We have achieved incredible support and recognition from the aviation industry through our corporate memberships and sponsorships, and this year additionally the support of the federal government assisting us to create exciting opportunities for our membership.  From our inception, we had a vision – to become the premier platform for women in aviation fields and we have powered forward with the development and implementation of some incredible initiatives, including our mentoring program, education programs, and scholarship programs, events such as the Emerging Leaders Program, our annual conferences, annual Girls in Aviation day events, and our remote and rural outreach programs.   

I am so incredibly proud of what we have achieved in such a short time, and none of this would be possible without the support of our tribe, chapter members, corporate members and supporters, and our committee members (past and present) who have put up with the late night meetings, given up time with their families, worked for hours and hours on chapter programs and initiatives, attended events and volunteered at their own cost, and no matter how tough it’s been, they have never once given up on our chapters vision. 

As I step down from my role as National President, I look back over my time spent working with this incredible team of individuals, I feel so privileged to have been a part of this from day one.  And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your contributions, your passion and your continued dedication to our chapter.

We have made a huge difference and we will continue to bring about change, we will pave the way into the future for the next generation, who like all of us, also have a dream.

I would like to welcome our new National President Lea Vesic into her role with the committee, Lea has been an incredible support to the chapter over the last 3 years in her previous role as Membership Outreach and Corporate Engagement, her passion and drive for WAI is infectious and she is an incredible inspiration to many of us.  Lea has an incredible amount of energy and will stop at nothing to ensure the success of any initiatives and she will always be working to provide the best opportunities for all of our membership.

As we move forward into the coming 12 months, we are excited to be working on our next Conference, which will be held in Melbourne Victoria, November 15- 17th 2019.  The theme for the conference will be Empowerment & Resilience, and we have an incredible line up of exciting workshops and education for all whom attend, as well as guest speakers and activities.

Registrations will be opening very soon via our web site, so be sure to save the date!

I would like to once again thank you all for the support that you have brought to the chapter through your participation and I will be looking forward to working alongside you all as I take up my role with membership and corporate engagement and outreach.

Tammy Camilleri