Women in Aerospace Summit inspires

Published on FLTLT Baz Bardoe (author), Stephen Demchinsky (photographer)

LEUT Kate Cox, LEUT Julia Gibney and CMDR Steve Arney, flanked by staff from DGTA-ADF (photo: Stephen Demchinsky)
LEUT Kate Cox, LEUT Julia Gibney and CMDR Steve Arney, flanked by staff from DGTA-ADF

Navy was well represented at the recent Women in Aviation/Aerospace Summit 2015 held in Melbourne, which featured a stellar lineup of women who have achieved success in aerospace careers.

Cathy Riach, of BAE Systems, was master of ceremonies for the event while a highlight was a talk by Captain Georgina Sutton, Chief Pilot for Jetstar Australia.

Ms Sutton’s ascension to the top job leaves no doubt women can excel in the industry, and a panel discussion looked at how career paths for women can be facilitated.

For Lieutenant Julia Gibney, the summit was a familiar experience that continued to provide value.

“This was the fourth time I have attended a Women in Aviation/Aerospace Summit”, she said.

“I can honestly say that I learn something new every time.

“The networking opportunities are excellent and I felt very proud that naval aviation has now become involved in the event.

“I hope over time the message gets across to all Defence employees, regardless of uniform that these types of events are not just for women and can only be a true success if male colleagues support and attend as well.

She said it was good to hear positive feedback from some of her male co-workers.

“I am lucky enough to have some great male role models who have supported me to attend events like this,” Lieutenant Gibney said.

While some work still needs to be done in terms of recognising the contributions of women in the industry, Director General Technical Airworthiness Air Commodore James Hood said events like the summit, fostered discussion and networking, and helped to chart a way forward.

“As an inclusive organisation that values the contributions of all of its personnel it is gratifying to see an event like this so well attended,” Air Commodore Hood said.

“Positive role models, the opportunity for networking, and discussion on enhancing opportunities for women in aviation are all steps in the right direction.”