Stephen Hudson – Chief Engineer, Boeing Defence Australia
Stephen Hudson has been Boeing Defence Australia’s Chief Engineer since April 2016. In this role he is responsible for the technical and regulatory integrity of development and sustainment programs across the company and for leading the engineering capability for Boeing Defence Australia.
Prior to this, Hudson was Chief Engineer of the company’s Command, Control, Communications and Information Solutions Division where he oversaw the engineering capability for a number of Boeing Defence Australia’s most complex development programs, including the Project Currawong battlespace communication system, and the Helicopter Aircrew Training System.
Previously, Hudson was Chief Engineer of Boeing Defence Australia’s High Frequency Modernisation Project (HFMOD). He was responsible for the technical integrity and was the design authority for the AU$340 million defence communications project. He was also Senior Design Engineer for the HFMOD Mobiles Upgrade Segment, a ground-breaking project that delivered the world’s most advanced defence high frequency communications capability.
From 2001 to 2004, Hudson was the Chief Engineer of Boeing Defence Australia’s Network Enabled Systems Division and before that Chief Technologist of the Space & Communications System Division. In both roles Hudson was responsible for ensuring functional integrity and technical innovation, and development and deployment of state-of-the-art common engineering tools and processes. He was a technical advisor to the board of an AU$280 million Australian Venture Capital Fund and the Cooperative Research Centre for Distributed Systems Technology. He also served as Chairman of the Boeing Staff Superannuation Fund.
Before joining Boeing in 1998, Hudson’s focus was the commercialisation of technical products. He was instrumental in taking start-up company Enterprise Solutions Asia Pacific Limited from inception through the Initial Public Offering process to achieve a market capitalisation of approx AU$350 million. He has held board positions on several Small to Medium Enterprise technology companies.
Hudson holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the University of New South Wales and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia. He was appointed as an Associate Technical Fellow of The Boeing Company in 2002. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), Fellow of Engineers Australia and a member of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ). He holds an Australian Flight Crew License endorsed with a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating and is an active competition aerobatics pilot.
Carley Scott CEO, Equatorial Launch Australia
Carley is leading the development of the Arnhem Space Centre, securing a world first with NASA planning to launch its rockets at the site in 2021 and undertaking discussions that can pave the way for enhanced international trade.
She is an advisor to the CSIRO on advanced manufacturing; sits on the Space Industry Association of Australia’s Board, SmartSat CRC’s Aurora Formation Committee, and, is on the Inner Melbourne Metropolitan Partnerships Committee.
Previously, Carley was entrusted by Rio Tinto and the Northern Territory Government as the inaugural CEO building a multi-million-dollar economic development company which is now internationally referred to as best-practice for business development, innovation and investment practices in transitioning economies.
From Board and advisory roles in strategic major project initiatives in Victoria, to managing significant remote area assets and advising on structural industry reform in the Northern Territory, Carley’s experience provides informed considerations to shape current and future industry development opportunities.
Recognised as a 2020 finalist for the Space Connect ‘Executive of the Year’, Carley has also been ranked in the top ‘100 Women of Influence’ by AFR in 2019, nominated for ‘Australian of the Year’ in 2018, and in 2017, Carley won the Telstra Business Women’s Award (For Purpose, Northern Territory).
Carley is passionate about enterprise, aerospace, and the role of new technologies in the delivery of positive outcomes for humanity. She also enjoys spending time with her family, indulging in hand made chocolates, and trying to find time for some VR gaming.
FLTLT Caitlin Rytenskild, RAAF
FLTLT Caitlin Rytenskild dreamt of flying as a teenager. She had a newspaper cut out of an all-female crew on the C-17 on the wall of her bedroom but could not afford the cost of a commercial pilots’ licence in the civilian world. After finishing school, she enrolled in a Chemical Engineering course at university but soon dropped out as she just did not enjoy it. What she did enjoy though was the 10 hours of flying she saved up for and did at Moorabbin over the course of the year, so FLTLT Rytenskild decided that the way to realise her flying dream was to join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Application submitted, she knew she had made the right choice when, whilst working at an office in Albert Park, she saw the RAAF Roulettes and the F/A-18 fly past on their way to the F1 flypast and realised that they drew her eye and made her heart race.
FLTLT Rytenskild joined the RAAF in May 2012 and graduated pilots’ course in March 2014. She received her first posting to 34 Squadron in Canberra, flying the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) from 2014-2016. Her primary role was flying the Prime Minister and Governor General around Australia and the world and considers herself lucky to have flown high profile VIPs Prince Harry and Prince Charles when they visited Australia in 2015.
FLTLT Rytenskild is now on her second posting at 36 Squadron based in Amberly flying the C-17 Globemaster. She has been there since 2017, achieved her command on the C-17 in September 2019 and is also responsible for running the Safety Management System at the squadron. In her time at 36 Squadron, she has flown to Europe, USA, Middle East and Antarctica, among others. In August 2020, twelve years after the first all-female C-17 crew that adorned FLTLT Rytenskild’s teenage bedroom, she found herself the captain on the second all-female crew on the C-17. Having once looked at the poster on her bedroom and wondering how those impressive women got to where they were, she is now hoping to inspire the next generation of impressive women.
JILL R. MEYERS, PMP FRAeS Aerospace Engineering
Jill Meyers has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of aviation and aerospace. Her passion for aviation started as a teenager when she obtained her Private Pilot License at age 17. Her professional career started in the United States Air Force, where she operated and maintained communications systems worldwide for eight years.
After transitioning to civilian life, Jill worked as an Aerospace Engineer for companies like Boeing, where she supported the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft program. She started and managed the Systems Engineering department at Eclipse Aviation for the Eclipse 500 jet program. At Raytheon, Jill was the Senior Manager responsible for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Ground Segment and later at Northrop Grumman, she managed development and delivery of the communication and navigation systems for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet. Jill is also an expert in the commercial uses of UAS, sitting on state-wide panels in California to represent this growing industry.
To help inspire young girls all around the globe, Jill managed the ground support team for Shaesta Waiz, founder of Dreams Soar, Inc., who flew solo around the world in a single-engine Bonanza aircraft in 2017 for their “Global Flight for STEM”. Jill managed the logistics for the 145-day mission and led the planning of 32 Outreach events in 14 countries around the globe, where Shaesta inspired more than 3,000 students to follow their dreams.
Jill owns a consulting business, Meyers AeroConsulting, to provide her expertise to aviation organizations around the world. She is also a professional public speaker represented by Changemaker Talent (changemakertalent.com) with an inspirational presentation called “Shifting the Balance: Women in Aviation”. One of Jill’s most rewarding roles was as a consultant to Indie Atlantic Films for production of their award-winning 2019 documentary film Fly Like A Girl.
Jill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. In 2019, Jill was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. She is a long-time member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) and Women in Aviation International (WAI), where she is President of the WAI Land of Enchantment Chapter. Jill is on the Advisory Board of the International Women’s Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio and The Betty Flies Foundation in Aspen, Colorado.
For her lifelong support to STEM and aviation, and for helping the next generation through her mentoring, volunteering and outreach, Jill has received several awards including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce 2016 “Women in Leadership” Award, and the AIAA 2018 “Outstanding Enhancement of the Image of the Aerospace Profession” Award. Jill was a Finalist for the San Diego Magazine 2018 “Woman of the Year” Award and was selected in 2020 as one of the New Mexico Technology Council’s “Women in Technology” honorees.
Emma Tabener – Leadership Coach
Emma Taberner is a private pilot, past President of the Australian Cessna 180/185 Club and passionate supporter of vintage and antique aircraft. Her favourite day of the week is any day she can take to the skies in her bright blue Super Cub.
When she’s not aviating Emma is a leadership coach, and her business, New Wings Success, focusses on creating the innovative leaders of the future. Emma works with both companies and individuals to help them achieve outstanding business and personal results.
She spent over 20 years leading, coaching and mentoring teams in logistics, manufacturing and transport for companies like Sorbent and Schweppes. She now helps organisations to create world-class workplace culture where empowerment and collaboration are not buzz words, they are an expected standard.
She works with individuals to help them overcome challenges that are holding them back from career success or personal fulfilment. She specifically loves to support girls and young women to see new opportunities and help them to grow in courage and pursue their dreams.
She believes we all can soar with or without wings.
Using her 5 Elements of Success, Emma supports her clients to build courage to take on their fears, gain clarity of what’s important to them, understand the behaviours and thinking that are holding them back. She helps them to grow far beyond what they currently believe they can achieve and create the change needed in order for them to soar.
Through group and one to one coaching, online courses, workshops, newsletters and the New Wings Success Community Emma will guide you to discover the vision for your success and how to be a leader in all areas of your life.
You can follow Emma, her flying adventures and New Wings Success on Instagram and Facebook as @newwingssuccess
Join the New Wings Community at www.newwings.com.au/join-the-community
Natalee Johnston – Aviation Safety Manager/ Navy Pilot
Natalee Johnston is the Royal Australian Navy’s first female pilot. She grew up on a farm in the West Australian wheatbelt and found her way into the Navy completing her Bachelor of Science, Physics Major, through the Australian Defence Force Academy. Natalee successfully completed pilots course in 1999 and went on to become the first female SeaKing pilot, Flight Commander, Instructor and Executive Officer in the Navy. During her career she flew the SK50 SeaKing, AS350 Squirrel and MRH90 Taipan helicopters and conducted numerous Humanitarian and Disaster Relief operations and international military exercises whilst embarked on a number of HMAShips. Natalee is a mother of two and to date is the only female aviator to return to flying post children. During her time in the Navy Natalee was the lead Safety expert for Navy Aviation, managing the Aviation Safety Management system and training risk management and crew resource management. She has now left the full time Navy, and manages her own business providing Aviation safety services and developing soft skills to enhance Decision Making. She lives on the South Coast NSW with her two kids and husband (who is also a pilot), surfs and rides a motorbike.
Susie McGough, Airservices Australia Air Traffic Controller
My aviation journey started when I learnt to fly gliders in Central Victoria in the late 90s. Whilst flying and instructing
others, one of the club members suggested that I would be a good Air Traffic Controller. I was working as a Social
Worker in a non-government organisation and had never considered a career in Air Traffic Control. I was lucky
enough to have a tour of the Melbourne Centre and decided that this was for me.
After completing the initial training in the academy I began my career in Melbourne Centre with the sector over
Tasmania. From starting the academy to gaining my first license took 15 months – a very intense yet rewarding
Through my time at Melbourne Centre, I completed more training on different sectors, including arrivals into
Melbourne and low level sectors. I took the opportunity to take on Shift Manager in the Centre and whilst this a
change in focus it was a new challenge that changed my focus to be split between traffic shifts and supervisory
shifts. As a person who takes an interest in other people’s success and development I was then successful in
gaining a management position, which for me was another challenge which I relished.
Whilst working as ATC, my family are also aviation-oriented, both my husband and I have our private pilot license
and my husband a commercial pilot in both fixed wing and rotary.
Airservices Australia gives the opportunity to move around the country and I have been able to take advantage of
this, with 5.5 years in Broome as the manager for Broome, Port Hedland and Karratha towers. The change from en
route to tower was a massive change but with the rigorous training the switch was extremely enjoyable and
rewarding. The different nature of the tower environment especially in a small town, was a new and refreshing
I have since moved to Perth Tower, where I have been for 18 months. Once again a new environment brings a new
challenge and a new team of people to work with. The radar tower environment is busy and complicated, a change
in direction again from regional towers.
I have been lucky enough to have worked in en route, regional tower and radar tower environments. All of these
environments have been male dominated, however in the 18 years I have been in the organisation, the numbers of
female ATCs have been gradually increasing. I have been involved in equity and diversity roles with Airservices for
many years and I am an advocate for improving the balance of diversity within the organisation.
Ebony Simonit, Airservices Australia Lead Aviation Fire Fighter
My path to becoming an Aviation Rescue Firefighter was not a straight one. I’ve had many roles, from beginning in
a shoe store directly after school, administration roles, advertising, and then eventually on the path to becoming a
Personal training (PT) ignited my love for health and fitness which led me to going to university to study
Physiotherapy as a mature student. As a student I decided to become a Retained Firefighter with Fire and Rescue
NSW, which I did for a couple of years. This is where I found that I could really become a firefighter and decided to
turn it into a career as Aviation Rescue Fire Fighter at Airservices Australia. Being physically fit is definitely a
requirement and I feel my background in PT put me in a good position when applying for this role.
What I love about being an Aviation Rescue Fire Fighter is the comradery within my crew, which I consider to be
my second family. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together, share life’s ups and downs and I know they’ve got
my back, and I’ve got theirs.
It is a physically active position, with extensive training which allows me to be confident in my abilities to do the job.
We respond to a range of calls, from medicals, fires, motor vehicle accidents, and fire alarms and aviation incidents,
of course! One of my most memorable moments is attending a first aid to help a woman who had experienced quite
a traumatic event, and was in need of not only medical assistance but emotional support as well. I feel that our crew
that day really made a difference for her to help her to receive the help she needed.
It’s difficult to name one favourite work activity so I’ll name a couple. Driving our vehicles, including our huge Mk8
trucks, crew cook-ups and being able to exercise and stay fit on shift. Being shift work there is also a great worklife balance, which has allowed me to travel the world (pre-COVID). In the last two years alone, I’ve travelled to
South America, Canada, and America on a number of occasions.
I’d definitely recommend young women consider a career as Aviation Rescue Fire Fighter because of the mateship,
work-life balance, and diversity of work from one day to the next and having the sense of accomplishment in
contributing to the community in a positive way. It’s a great place to work.
Sarah Kane – RDA Hunter
Sarah is currently employed within the role of Regional Development Coordinator with Regional Development Australia Hunter working across their Skilled Workforce Initiative. Working within a coordination role, Sarah works closely with Hunter Region schools and industry to promote the opportunities of STEM careers within the region.
Originally from the Upper Hunter town of Muswellbrook, Sarah re-located to Newcastle in 2010 to study a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) at the University of Newcastle and experience the small-town vibe of the coastal city. While completing her degree, Sarah worked for State Sporting Organisation, Northern NSW Football where she gained experience in variety of business operations from administration, finance, event management and marketing.
After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Newcastle, Sarah moved into the role with RDA Hunter in 2017. Since the beginning of her time with RDA Hunter, Sarah has dedicated herself to building relationships with local schools and industries to develop the skills for the Hunter region’s future workforce. Within her role working across a variety of projects within the Skilled Workforce Initiative, a particular passion of Sarah’s is the chance to engage and promote the breadth of opportunities within STEM for females.
A highlight of her time with RDA Hunter has been the opportunity to manage the RDA Hunter’s Women in STEM project in 2018/19 that saw 300 female students participate in workshops focused on providing information on STEM careers, hands-on coding workshops and inspiring talks with local females in traditionally male dominated positions. Another highlight has been the opportunity to work with Women in Aviation Australia on a variety of initiatives since 2018 including the National Conference RAAF Base Williamtown tour in 2018 and more recently being a member of the Corporate Executive Board.
With her background in Communications, Sarah is a people-person and thrives on building positive relationships with all stakeholders in her work. This has greatly benefitted her role with RDA Hunter as she has enjoyed the opportunity to build relationships with education and industry partners through coordinating a range of hands-on practical activities in the Hunter.
Sarah has recently returned to the University of Newcastle where she is studying a Master of Business Administration to further her knowledge and experience of leadership, project management and marketing.
When she’s not working or studying her MBA you can find Sarah running around a local football field with friends, enjoying a coffee at local cafes and spending time with her partner and family.
Felicity Brown, Chief Pilot Chinta Air Charter
Felicity Brown learned to fly for a bet, in 1998. At the time, she was 31 years old, a single mother with no previous interest in flying or aircraft, and living in regional Western Australia 180 kilometres from the nearest flying school. The bet was that she couldn’t get her private pilots licence by August 1998 to compete in the Mobil Outback Air Race. The Air Race is a navigational trial for light aircraft held every two years as a fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Felicity got her pilot’s licence two weeks before the Air Race started. She borrowed a C182, and headed for the start of the Race in Alice Springs. Everyone on board was dressed in belly dancing costumes (the team name was Delilahs of the Desert!). One of the passengers had previously only flown (as a passenger) on the London to Perth jets.
She competed again in the 2000 event (but this time dressed in mock leopard skin – the team name was Wild Women of the Desert).
Along the way, Noel Schwarz, an innovative farmer on the West Coast of South Australia, had appeared on the scene. He learned to fly to fill in time during the 1999 drought.
In 2000, Felicity and now partner, Noel Schwarz, had purchased a C182, and in 2001, the pair competed in the 2001 Outback Air Race. The dress was a little more sedate – the team name was The Marshalls, so sheriffs stars, and plastic six guns were an obvious part of the costume. Felicity now had a NVFR.
After Felicity moved from regional Western Australia to the Far West Coast of South Australia, Noel and Felicity set up an air charter business, and opened the doors for business on 1 July 2003, with one aircraft, and one part-time pilot. Felicity was 3 months pregnant, with twins. Felicity became Chief Pilot in 2011, and MECIR in 2012.
Now, Chinta Air operates aircraft across South Australia from three full-time bases, offering the wide variety of services that are required to keep any GA business afloat. On any given day, pilots may be tasked with providing scenic flights over different attractions, flying freight, transferring passengers across the Outback, providing a photographer with the best angle for a shot, or looking for stray livestock.
Chinta Air has a sister business, Chinta Tours, which is a licenced travel agency specialising in tailor made air safaris across the Outback. Guests may climb aboard for a Melbourne to Uluru tour that lasts for a week, or depart Perth for a three week adventure to Cairns, following the coast.
The name “Chinta” is a Pitjantjarra word meaning “sun rise” or “morning sun” – a reference to the early starts which are part of any bush pilot’s life. The logo is a gibra (similar to a bush turkey) which flies for a short distance before landing for a feed and a look around (a perfect representation for an air charter business). The gibra is also rare and endangered, and in need of support if it is going to survive (just like GA).
Tammy Camilleri – Panorama Airways / WAI Australia Corporate Outreach
Tammy specializes in general aviation, flight safety operations, business development, diversity & membership advocacy. In 2015 Tammy became the first female pilot in Australia to gain an endorsement on the L39 Albatros fighter jet, holds a Commercial Pilots License, Multi Engine Instrument Rating & Aerobatic endorsement. She is also currently undertaking a flight instructor rating.
Tammy is passionate about gender diversity & is an advocate for a number of volunteer organizations She currently holds the position of immediate Past President for WAI Australia and Corporate Engagement and is a founding member of the WAI Australian chapter.
Tammy is a leader in this field having launched various initiatives, including to Australia the (WOAWW) Women in Aviation World Wide Week and establishing the WAI chapter in Australia. Tammy continues to develop chapter initiatives, most recent the Airborne Outreach Program, Mentoring Program, scholarships & Indigenous initiatives. Tammy is a well versed guest speaker and is involved in various panels across the industry.
Along side her husband Charlie, Tammy operates a general aviation company Panorama Airways and PanAir Flight training in Bathurst NSW. Together they also operate Fastjet Adventure flights taking passengers on the ride of their life in their L39 Albatros fighter jet.
Sasha Robinson BSc Av – Flight Deck Consulting
Sasha has more than 30 years of experience in the Aviation Industry. A founding partner of the Flightdeck Group, a multi-faceted group of aviation companies that amongst other areas specialises in assisting Pilots achieve career success through her unique interview preparation techniques and career coaching strategies. Flightdeck is also positioned as a boutique agency supplying first class pilot candidates to several Asian Airlines and Government Agencies.
Herself a former international airline pilot flying Airbus A330 and 340’s to all corners of the globe, Sasha has worked closely with the recruitment departments of major international airlines. She is also a qualified simulator instructor, author of “The Complete Airline Pilot Interview Workbook”, University Lecturer, Mentor, an active member of several associations and is regularly called upon to contribute in the media as an Expert Aviation Consultant.
As a mother of 5 school aged children, Sasha has a particular passion for advancing the careers of female pilots and assisting women and girls interested in pursuing a career in the field of Aviation. A career highlight has been her recent involvement with the Federal Governments “Women in Aviation” Initiative, developing the “Women in Aviation Careers” website and creating an awareness campaign for school aged girls, highlighting the amazing career opportunities that are available to women within the Aviation and Aerospace Industries.
Lea Vesic – Aviation and Maritime Advisor Australian Federal Government
Lea is dedicated to motivating and inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals to strive to be innovative, inspiring and to be empowered to make a positive difference in the world through leadership and aviation. Lea’s experienced working within both the public and private sectors internationally and domestically has focused around flight operations, private jet charter and sales, aviation training, policy development and finance and administration roles, change management and currently as the Aviation and Maritime Advisor for the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Michael McCormack MP.
Lea is a passionate advocate for Women in Aviation, having held various roles within the organization since its inception.