WAI Australia is leading the way with our unique Corporate Executive Board (CEB) within our chapter board structure. The exclusive CEB nomination is by invitation only and the opportunity for participation is extended by the National committee to our Corporate members annually.
CEB members are encouraged to be ambassadors for both WAI Australia and their individual organizations and will collaborate with WAI Australia through a solid executive strategy, which is designed to set clear expectations and create actionable solutions to help drive positive, long term outcomes for the many issues facing women within the aviation industry.
It is our goal to continue to champion women through the increasingly diverse and complex aviation environments and to build a more equal and inclusive future for women in the aviation fields.
The CEB consists of six nominated board positions with four scheduled board meetings throughout the year at various locations.
Meet our WAI Australian Corporate Executive Board Members
Airservices Australia Customer Engagement Manager – Elissa Keenan
With more than 20 years’ experience in corporate and public affairs and communications, in Australia, Elissa Keenan has held a number of key senior and executive roles in the private sector, aviation and tourism industries, not-for-profit and government. In her current role of Customer Engagement Manager, Elissa ensures the future service initiatives and key investments of Airservices are aligned to the expectations and future strategy of airline customers and the broader aviation industry.
She is actively involved in steering Airservices strategy around major airport developments including parallel runway programs at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth Airports; and the establishment of Western Sydney Airport.
Captain Louise Pole Q400 Captain, QantasLink & President, Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP)
Captain Louise Pole is a Dash 8-400 Captain with QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines). Throughout her almost 20-year career with Sunstate Louise has flown the Shorts 360, Dash 8-100, 200, 300 and 400. In October 2018 Louise was elected as the 32nd President of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP), the first time the pilots’ union has elected a woman to lead the association in its 80-year history. With almost 5000 members, the AFAP is the largest professional association and industrial organisation for commercial pilots in Australia.
Previously, Louise was AFAP Vice President of Administration and Finance for ten years with responsibility for oversight of budgeting and financial governance matters. In 2010 Louise established the AFAP Women’s Network, providing a unique forum to identify and pursue industrial and professional issues relevant to women members. Since its inception, the number of women pilot members has increased by over 300%.
Sarah Kane Regional Development Coordinator RDA
Sarah is currently employed within the role of Regional Development Coordinator with Regional Development Australia working across their STEM Workforce Initiative. Working within a coordination role Sarah works closely with Hunter Region schools and industry to promote the opportunities of STEM careers in the region.
Having lived in the Hunter region her whole life, Sarah is passionate about promoting the regions strengths and opportunities through RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Initiative.
A particular passion of Sarah’s is the chance to engage and promote the breadth of opportunities within STEM for females. With a background in Communications, Sarah is a people-person and thrives on building positive relationships with all stakeholders in her work
Melynda Knight Director Human Resources Boeing Defence Australia
Melynda was appointed Human Resources Director for Boeing Defence Australia on 17 June 2019. Boeing Defence Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company within the Boeing Defense, Space & Security business unit and is one of Australia’s leading aerospace enterprises. The organisation’s 2600 plus employees located at 14 Australian sites and three international locations provide a range of valued, through-life service solutions for some of Australia’s largest and most complex defence projects. Melynda returned to Boeing Defence Australia after spending two years in Washington DC where she held the role of HR lead for Boeing Global Operations and Chief of Staff to the BDS HR VP, Scott Drach. Prior to her US appointment, Melynda spent 11 years at Boeing Defence Australia, holding senior leadership roles within HR and in Operations, where she led the Quality and Business Improvement function. Before joining Boeing, Melynda held a number of senior HR positions in Australia’s electricity industry and resources sector with responsibility for leading complex greenfield workforce ramp-ups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Economics and Industrial Relations from the University of Queensland and a Masters degree in Human Resource Management.
Caroline Wilkie CEO Australian Airports Association
Caroline Wilkie has been CEO of the Australian Airports Association since 2011. The AAA represents all major regular passenger transport airports in Australia as well as council airports.
The membership spans from councils with grass strip runways to Australia’s major gateways. The AAA also represents a further 160 corporate members. The AAA is engaged in research, developing industry publications, education, advocacy and major industry events.
Caroline has a Masters of Public Affairs and more than eighteen years’ experience in Association Management.
Maxine Milera Corporate Services Executive RAAUS
Maxine is the Corporate Services Executive for Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) and has worked in the aviation industry for over 13 years. Maxine’s career began in the finance sector working for companies such as Grace Bros and Target, before becoming the Human Resources and Finance Executive for RAAus. In addition to her current role as Corporate Services Executive, Maxine often performs the duties of Acting CEO.Maxine has completed a Diploma in Work Health and Safety before moving into the finance and human resources sector, and is planning on commencing her studies in workplace law.
Maxine is married with two daughters and two step-sons. Outside of the workplace she enjoys reading, bushwalking, and traveling. Also a keen student pilot, Maxine has flown Lightwings (taildragger), Jabirus, Tecnams, Foxbats, and trikes.