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Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

WAI Sci-Fly Airborne Outreach

Winter School Holiday Program 2017

WAI Australian Education Outreach Coordinator Dr ‘Z’ has been very busy over the school holidays!

Around one hundred students took part in a huge four days of Sci-Fly STEM Outreach programs during the winter school holidays. With two days at Tyabb Airport, and a further two held at Swinburne Wantirna, July 2017 saw a total of three unique programs rolled out, all receiving a huge positive response and thanks.

It has now been almost a year since Sci-Fly founder Dr Zara Dennis first spoke to PrimeSCI! about her airborne outreach and aviation science lessons idea. Since then, the involvement of Women in Aviation Australia (WAI) has seen the initiative evolve massively, with Sci-Fly STEM Outreach officially launched at the WAI Brisbane Conference in October 2016.

For primary school activities however, the early partnership with PrimeSCI! has stayed strong and the sessions which have been held these school holidays are a testament to that relationship. Zara has both written and delivered all three programs, with wonderful support from PrimeSCI! in terms of equipment, logistics and the all-important bookings.

As Sci-Fly continues to grow within WAI, and the airborne component for secondary students takes flight, the primary school “FlySCI!” sessions (as they have been named in recognition of the partnership) are set to continue, hopefully with some grade 1-2 session in the works very soon.

The first week of the school holidays hosted three of the four sessions, the first two down the Mornington Peninsula at Tyabb. We cannot thank The Peninsula Aero Club and the Old Aeroplane Company enough for their support. With dedicated use of their classroom for both days, and most of all to the inimitable Judy Pay (who first piloted a Tiger Moth at the age of 16 and has been hooked ever since), for organising the hanger tours of her amazing collection of Warbirds. To quote one young man as we entered the hanger “I need to pinch myself to make sure this is real” … well it absolutely was, and we suspect there was a modicum of envy coming from a few parents and grandparents as the kids got a first-hand look at Judy’s collection, and indeed meet this inspiration lady herself.

The classroom sessions at Tyabb followed a similar program to our previous school holiday programs at Lilydale, and without a doubt it has been the success of the initial roll out at Zara’s home Flying School, that has helped in spreading our wings.  ‘Forces of Flight’ however was replaced by a slightly more technical ‘Aircraft Controls’ lesson, including a look at flight instruments. A move we made given the outstanding calibre of knowledge these youngsters in grades 5-8 bring with them. We stuck with our DC motor propellers and Scribble Bots for the second half however, as these never fail to fill the classroom with laughter… and learning… always learning!

Zara was, as ever, full of her characteristic high energy and enthusiastic delivery. Chatting to a handful of parents after the main session also, she signed off on a Scout Air Activity badge and received some feedback that may well be the deciding moment in regards to the instructor rating she has been pondering over for a while. Currently half way through CPL, Zara is 4/7 exams down, and needs around another 30 hours command. The 11 year old daughter of this particular parent has shown a keen interest in learning to fly, and without a doubt, she certain shined during the program. With a plan to start her flying lessons when she is 14, her mum asked the question: In three years then, would Zara have her instructor rating and be able to teach her daughter? Yeah, okay… our founder had a big kid moment right there and then, beaming from ear-to-ear at the impact her program was clearly making; and, if timeframes and logistics align, yes absolutely, it would be a genuine pleasure!

With a day off from school holiday programs, Zara snuck back to the science lab for a day, and was then ready to take on the Swinburne Wantirna group, and the first ever Sci-Fly sessions for grades 3-4. ‘Forces of Flight’ was first up, based on the session by the same name that has now evolved into aircraft controls for the onsite airport program, these junior aviators were all hands-on deck. With a beginner’s guide to lift, thrust, and drag, including practical tasks to investigate each force, and take home paper plane templates. The second day at Wantirna then saw the launch of a brand new session, ‘Aviation Navigation’. Wherein the participants got hands-on with real aviation maps, learned some introductory navigation skills, and completed a practical problem solving challenge. The latter was both fascinating and exceptional to watch, as the teamwork unfolded, and the tinkering and testing saw each group producing a unique marble navigation route. Again feedback was extremely positive, and to finish, Zara even recorded a ’Brains Matter’ podcast discussing the project and its futureaims.

The airborne component of Sci-Fly STEM Outreach may still be looking for financial support to help us further our reach, but our primary programs are now gaining some serious momentum, and this is fantastic for launching Zara’s initiative to the skies. Barwon Heads, and Latrobe Valley airports are two locations we are currently discussing, plus with Girls in Aviation Day happening in Canberra on the 23rd of September, maybe this will see the launch of the first interstate program.

Four days and just over one hundred kids, plus of course all of our previous participants from Lilydale, Geelong, and the inaugural airborne trip to Wycheproof, the word is definitely spreading. And so is Zara inspirational creation.

Sci‑Fly STEM Outreach and Women in Aviation Australia: Taking Science Education to the Skies!

For further details on our next planned Airborne Outreach program why not check out our Facebook page and website: www.sciflystemoutreach.com.au

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Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

WAI Australian Scholarship Award Launch

The Australian chapter is thrilled to announce the launch of our very first regional scholarship.  The WAI Australian Scholarship Award has been generously sponsored by TafeNSW

Applications are now open with the presentation of the award to be held at our WAI Australian conference, planned for October 2018.


More exciting scholarships to be announced very soon!!

Follow the link below for application and details of the WAI Australian Scholarship Award.

WAI Australian Regional Scholarships

Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

Australian Scholarship Outreach Launch

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It is the goal of our WAI chapter to assist the personal and professional development of future generations of aviation professionals. To achieve this goal, we are thrilled to be initiating the launch of our Australian Scholarship program, designed to inspire, educate and promote successful aviation careers!

We are reaching out to our industry leaders to enable our members to access training and education opportunities that they would otherwise be unable to achieve. Through this endeavour we hope to encourage others to consider a career in this exciting industry.

Our efforts to increase gender diversity in aviation, can’t take effect unless we have the support of everyone in our community! By getting involved in this program, you will be showing your continued support to the broader community and change the lives of many.

Help to make a difference today, contact us





Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

WAI Australia attends Wings Over Illawarra & Shares WAI with over 30,000 people!


WAI Australian chapter members attended last weekends Wings Over Illawarra Airshow in Wollongong, NSW.

Chapter Membership Outreach team leader Lea Vesic was thrilled with the number of women and girls that came to see her and the other WAI volunteers at the stall.

“This has been an amazing weekend, we have had over 30,000 people come through the gates for the air show and an overwhelming response to our Women in Aviation stall.”

The airshow ran over three days with Friday  being a trade day for exhibitors.  Aviatex organisers of the trade show, were very happy with the amount of people who attended the very first trade day to be held at WOI.  Our chapter would like to thank Aviatex for their generosity and support of our stall.  Saturday and Sunday were extremely busy days with the public attendance and the weather was perfect for any airshow, not too hot, not too windy and not too cold!

Lea intends to attend as many events as possible to showcase our Australian chapter to the public and to help spread the word about our chapter initiatives and programs.

We would like to thank the following members for  their generosity and support of the weekend; Lea, Mark, Margaret, Christine, Yvonne, & Tammy and look forward to attending next years event!









Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program


VAA0035_Pilot_Cadet_Program_Image_Only_1800x1800_v3This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for aspiring pilots who are dedicated and passionate about a rewarding career with Virgin Australia. If your application is successful, you’ll secure a coveted place in the world class training facility, Flight Training Adelaide. Once you begin your cadet training course, you’ll be employed on a permanent basis by Virgin Australia and have access to Virgin Australia Group staff travel benefits. You’ll also be partnered with pilot mentors for coaching and career guidance.
Learn from the best in the industry and take your career to new heights with Australia’s favourite airline, Virgin Australia.

Applications close 19 May 2017.

To apply or for more information, please visit virginaustralia.com/pilotcadetship



Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

WAI Australian Chapter Avalon Air Show Gender Diversity Event

‘Gender diversity is not about companies meeting their quota numbers on a spreadsheet, it is about inclusion, acceptance & equal opportunities.’   

WAI Australian National President Tammy Augostin.

The WAI Australian Chapter hosted a wonderful event on the Friday evening during the spectacular Avalon Airshow 2017 highlighting gender diversity within the aviation fields.

With over 100 guests and VIP’s in attendance from all spectrums of the aviation sectors and fields, the evening went off without a hitch, so much that many guests found it difficult to leave.  Guests were treated to delicious canapés and refreshments throughout the night, with many taking the opportunity to network with many guests.

Guest speakers from various aviation based fields, engaged the audience with their thoughts on gender diversity within the industry and what actions  were helping to facilitate the shift in perceptions and initiate change within the industry.

The evening ended with guests moving outside to enjoy the spectacular Avalon night air show.

The committee would like to thank and recognise the following sponsors of the evening for their support of the event;









Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

FREE WAI Australian Chapter Avalon Airshow Event Celebrating Gender Diversity

Join WAI for a wonderful event being held during the Avalon Airshow in Victoria

RSVP is essential due to catering numbers – please email your attendance to : WAIAvalon2017@gmail.com

JOIN WAI when registering for the Friday evening event and you will also receive FREE Airshow Trade Day Passes for Tuesday through to Thursday

Membership Application

Download Avalon WAI Australian Chapter-event-flyer



Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

Women in Engineering Scholarships UNSW

Traditionally, women have been under-represented in engineering. However, more and more companies and universities are recognising the importance of a balanced approach to challenges and the value of diversity. UNSW Engineering has above-average female enrolments at 22% (the national average is closer to 17%), and are actively recruiting women and have set a goal of boosting female enrolments to 30% by 2020.

At the UNSW Faculty of Engineering the Women in Engineering Program aims to:

  1. Inspire girls to pursue engineering degrees and careers
  2. Support women studying engineering at UNSW
  3. Celebrate the successes of female engineering graduates

To assist with the costs of training, UNSW offers various scholarship programs to women considering a career in Engineering.

Click here to learn more about Engineering Scholarships!


Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

Millicent Bryant – Australia’s first licenced Pilot – 23rd March 1927

On Thursday 23rd March 2017 we will recognise the achievements of Australia’s first female pilot Millicent Bryant.Millicent Bryant.jpg

Millicent was born in Wellington, New South Wales and she was one of ten children to her parents Edmund George Harvey and Georgiana Sarah Bartlett Harvey.

She was married on the 9th May 1900, to Edward James Bryant. They had three sons (born 1901, 1903, and 1908). She was sadly widowed in 1926.

At the age of 49 years old, and only 9 months after the death of her husband Edward, Millicent passed her private pilot’s license test at the Australian Aero Club of New South Wales on the 23rd March, 1927 flying a De Havilland DH60 Moth aircraft, the licence was formally issued on the 28th March 1927.

Sadly  Millicent’s flying was short lived and ten months later she was tragically killed in a ferry accident on Sydney Harbour.  The Tahiti-Greycliffe Ferry disaster was one of the most deadliest incidents in the harbour’s history.

Five planes flew over her funeral and dropped a flower wreath in tribute. Her leather flying helmet was held in the National Library of Australia for many years; however in 2005 it was moved to the PowerHouse Museum in Sydney.

In 2001, Millicent Bryant was inducted into the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 2007, to mark the 80th anniversary of her pilot’s license, an official plaque was attached to her tombstone by the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.

Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

WAI Australian attendance at the Spectacular Avalon Air Show 2017

WAI Australian chapter will be in attendance at the Avalon Airshow event from the 29-5th March 2017. Avalon 2017 Airshow

Come along and enjoy this spectacular air show event and say hello to our wonderful WAI volunteers, AND if you are going to be at the Airshow on Friday why not join us at our Cocktail event in the afternoon?  ITS FREE 🙂

Check out our Facebook page for more information and to RSVP to the event here :www.facebook.com/events/365579947136720/

We hope to see you there!




Posted in Women in Aviation Australia

Congratulations to Jessica Phillips – SOLO flight 15th Birthday



When you can Fly a Plane SOLO but mum still has to come pick you up from the airport!

What a wonderful achievement for this amazing young Victorian in achieving her first solo flight on her 15th birthday on the 15th January 2017.

We had a chat to Jess to get her thoughts on her first solo experience and what inspired her to take up flying lessons.

“Hi my name is Jessica Phillips, I have just turned 15 years old and have completed my first solo flight in a Victa Airtourer.

My interest in flying started at the age of two years old when my parents took me to the EAA airshow in Oshkosh Wisconsin. I loved it, especially the aerobatic demonstrations.

At the age of ten I decided I wanted to fly FA-18 Hornets, I admired the speed and maneuverability of these amazing jets. Later I learned that the RAAF training plane was the CT-4 so when my father said Lilydale has a Victa Airtourer with a 160hp engine that is like the CT-4 I jumped at the opportunity to start flying in the Victa called ECI.

Compared to the Piper warrior with its docile and forgiving handling the Victa Airtourer is fast, has a CSU prop and is very maneuverable. The controls are twitchy and very responsive, this means I have more to learn and think quicker and fly more accurately. 

My instructor is Murray Gerraty, Murray is a fantastic instructor with plenty of experience he can also teach aerobatics and formation flying. Murray knows what I want to achieve and is dedicated to ensure I learn the skills required to achieve these goals. Thanks Murray!

My first solo was on my 15th birthday and I had no idea that I was going to go solo apparently my parents did though so they where taking pictures flat out. I did one full circuit and then on the downwind leg of my second circuit Murray told me that he was going to get out on that landing and then I would do a circuit by my self then land and pick him up at the end of the runway for him to taxi back. When Murray got out of the plane the adrenaline kicked in and it was an amazing experience being up there with just you in control knowing that you are flying all by yourself and that you are capable of doing it. Going solo makes flying just that little bit more addictive that you just want to keep on flying over and over again.”