Aviation featured in the Australia Day Honours list this year with three Order of Australia Medals (OAM) announced over the weekend. No higher award was made to anyone for services to aviation.
Medals were awarded to Moorabbin museum stalwart Ashley Briggs, Seair Pacific Chief Pilot Peter Gash and retired Fleet Air Arm museum manager Terry Hetherington
Ashley Briggs OAM
Chair Australian Aviation Restoration Group (AARG) and member since 1979
Chair Australian National Aviation Museum (ANAM - Moorabbin) since 2013 and member since 1979
Chair of Moorabbin Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group
Ashley Briggs has dedicated 40 years of his life to the aviation museum at Moorabbin. During his time, ANAM has grown from skeleton beginnings to become perhaps the most important collection of Australian-made aircraft in the country. His contribution as chair of the AARG and ANAM has enabled the museum to go from strength to strength and become an important part not only of the airport, but also of the wider general community.
Peter Gash OAM
Pilot Seair Pacific since 1985
Co-owner and Chief Pilot since 1989
Former advisory committee member CASA Regional Aviation Safety Forum
Advisor to CASR Part 135 review process
Member of the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure's General Aviation Advisory Network (GAAN)
Peter Gash's expertise has not only seen Seair flourish over the past 30 years, but also has been leveraged by government bodies in need of industry input and credibility. One of the most respected people in aviation and the Great Barrier Reef area, Gash has overseen Seair's growth from a single aeroplane to 10 aircraft and more than 100 employees. Seair runs a fleet of Caravans, Islanders, Twin Otters, C210s and King Airs on charter and transport operations out of Gold Coast and Hervey Bay. Gash is also the leaseholder of the revitalised eco-resort on Lady Elliot Island.
Terry Hetherington OAM
Manager Fleet Air Arm Museum (Nowra) 2006-2019
Secretary of the NSW division of the Fleet Air Arm Association
Member of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS)
Terry Hetherington is largely responsible for the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Nowra being the significant collection it is today. When Hetherington took over management in 2006, the museum was known as the Museum of Flight and contained aircraft with no relevance to naval aviation. Hetherington refocused back on Australia's naval aviation heritage. Rededicated in 2007, the museum now collects and perserves Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm aircraft and artifacts and is now one of Australia's most significant collection of historical military aircraft.
Australian Flying congratulates Ashley, Peter and Terry, and thanks them for their services to the aviation community.