High flying females

Australian Women s Pilots Association SA president Barbara Parish (left), trainee Solmaz Maghsoudi and committee member Beverley Roediger flew in to Naracoorte with the ceremonial baton.
Australian Women s Pilots Association SA president Barbara Parish (left), trainee Solmaz Maghsoudi and committee member Beverley Roediger flew in to Naracoorte with the ceremonial baton.

NARACOORTE was part of the effort to raise the profile of female pilots in Australia on Saturday.

Representatives from the Women Pilot's Relay of Flight landed at the aerodrome as part of a tour by a baton representing the women's stance.

The baton was flown to Naracoorte by Barbara Parish, accompanied by Bev Roediger from Gawler, in a C172 before flying on to Mount Gambier.

"We are doing the relay to raise the profile of women in aviation so that younger women are encouraged pursue aviation careers," explained Ms Parish.

"We are also using the event to raise money for the Cancer Council."

A group of 72 Australian women pilots, comprising largely of Australian Women Pilots Association members, are taking part to both raise their profile and raise funds for the Cancer council.

The Women Pilot's Relay of Flight started on March 2, departing from the Avalon Air Show before undertaking an anticlockwise route around Australia.

The Relay of Flight will see numerous teams carry a commemorative baton over 30,000km around Australia with the final destination being Launceston, Tasmani, next Wednesday.

The commemorative baton is of an Aboriginal design to thank the traditional owners for allowing the women to fly over their land.

"We're considering making it a biannual event," Ms Parish said. "We've had a lot of girls asking if they can be a part of it, and there have been a lot of girls who have shown interest in becoming a pilot.

"One thing that motivated us to do the relay was that we still get a lot of young girls saying 'I didn't know women could be pilots'."

A variety of aircraft have been used on the journey, ranging from the general aviation sector small powered aircrafts to hot air balloons, twin engines, helicopters, Navy and Air force and commercial airliners.

Celebrating camaraderie and the pursuit of aviation among female pilots, the flight has also set a target of $20,000 in funds raised for the Cancer Council.

They have already beaten that mark, and are looking to raise the bar.

For more information on women in aviation or to make a donation visit www.womenpilotsrelay.blogspot.com.au or search for WomenPilotsRelay on Facebook.