Mueller students celebrate women in aviation on International Women's Day
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is a global outreach initiative that takes place annually during the week surrounding International Women's Day. International Women's Day also coincides with the anniversary of a great female aviation achievement — on 8 March 1910 Raymonde de Laroche became the first women to earn her pilot's licence.
To celebrate Women of Aviation Worldwide Week and International Women's Day, 600 of Mueller College's female students, joined by State Member for Murrumba Chris Whiting MP, and Amber Glover from GE Aviation, gathered to participate in the Women in Aviation Pink Paper Plane Challenge. The challenge saw hundreds of pink paper planes thrown into the air by girls from Prep to Year 12.
"Women have played an important, somewhat unrecognised role in our aviation industry. Maude 'Lores' Bonney was the first Australian woman to gain a commercial pilot's licence, first woman to circumnavigate Australia, and the first person to fly between Australia and South Africa," Mr Whiting said.
"Lores Bonney is being honoured with a new state electorate to be named after her, and it is wonderful to see so many young women looking to follow in her footsteps."
As a Gateway to Industry School, Mueller College offers Aerospace Studies to its Year 11 and 12 students, and Aerospace Studies teacher and organiser, Anthony Banks is enthusiastic about getting girls involved.
"By participating in the Pink Paper Plane Challenge, the school community are encouraging our students to celebrate the contributions of the women who have paved the way in STEM, aviation and aerospace," Mr Banks said.
"It is important that our female students know that they are smart enough and capable enough to study these subjects and excel in these roles."
The event aimed to raise awareness of aviation opportunities available to girls of all ages, whilst also celebrating the accomplishments of past and present women of aviation. And judging by the student's reactions; it was a resounding success.
"The Pink Paper Plane Challenge was a great way to celebrate International Women's Day and the first female solo pilot in 1910 by representing women in male-dominated professions. It was very uplifting to see many of our female students and teachers involved in this event," Year 11 students at Mueller College said.
"We hope to see more events held like this so that it can encourage the younger female students of our school to do whatever they want to do and not let the stereotypically "male" subjects be a road block for them."
The Gateway to Industry Schools Aerospace program is designed to help young people with the transition from school to employment or vocational training and education. The program builds partnerships between schools and industry to provide career opportunities for school leavers.
Mueller College has been a part of the Gateway to Industry Schools program for eight years. The program is funded by the Department of Education and Training for the aviation industry sector. The initial aerospace partnership included an agreement between Education Queensland, the former Boeing Australia Limited (now BDA) and Aviation Australia.