Airline pilot and Check Captain Deborah Lawrie and general aviation identity Steve Padgett were two of six Australian aviators recognised in yesterday's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Lawrie was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and Padgett awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), with an AM for safety advocate Peter Raven and OAMs for designer John Corby, Bathurst Aero Club stalwart Jerry Trevor-Jones and skydiver David Smith.
Deborah Jane Lawrie AM
As Debbie Wardley, Lawrie shot to fame in 1978 when she took on and beat Ansett Airlines in the Equal Opportunity Board in a sex discrimination case. Ansett had a policy of employing only men as airline pilots. Lawrie has since had a stellar career in the airlines including as Captain, Flight Safety Manager and Chief Investigator with KLM, Captain and Safety Manager with Jetstar, Captain and Check-A Captain with Tiger Airways and has chaired the European Regions Air Safety Working Group. Lawrie has also contributed to IATA accident working groups and the Australian Air Force Cadets and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Peter James Raven AM
Master Air Pilot Peter Raven has been a board member of the Safeskies conference for 20 years and Chairman since 2017. Raven is also a former chairman and executive board member of the Honourable Company of Air PIlots (Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators). Raven has also been active in several pilot associations including the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), the Australian Federation of Airline Pilots (AFAP) and the Australian Air Pilots Association (AAPA) spanning several decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
John Cyril Corby OAM
Best known for designing the single-seat Corby Starlet aircraft, John Corby has been a member of the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia since the 1950s and a aircraft designer since 1959. He worked for Qantas from 1949-1972, Transfield's Transavia division and was with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority from 1988-99. Corby is a former chairman of the Association of Australian Aerospace Industries and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He was honoured with induction in the the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2017 and in the same year recognised with the Lawrence Hargrave Award from the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Stephen John Padgett OAM
One of the most well-known figures in general aviation, Steve Padgett founded Aeromil Pacific in 1980 and was the Managing Director for the next 30 years until the company was bought by Hawker Pacific, at which time he became Deputy Managing Director of HP. Padgett founded Alliance Airlines in 2002, a company of which he is still chairman today. He also runs training companies Flight Options and Universal Training Systems on the Sunshine Coast, and is active in the Australian Air Force Cadets as a member of the National Council. After helping found the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) in 1980, Padgett went on to be Director and Convention Chairman. He has been chairman of the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame since 2013.
David Ross Smith OAM
David Smith is perhaps one of the most significant figures in Australian skydiving. He joined the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) in 1969 and has held several positions including Chief Instructor, Director of Rigging, Executive Director, President and is a current Independent Director. He was also the chief instructor of the National Safety Council in the 1980s developing para-rescue systems. Smith's company Air Safety Solutions manufactures rescue products used by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), emergency medical services and defence personnel. He has been an instructor with Parachutes Australia/Sydney Skydivers since the 1980s and has made over 2000 jumps. David Smith is also a fixed-wing pilot.
Jeremy Hugh Trevor-Jones OAM
Jerry Trevor-Jones joined the Bathurst Aero Club in 1960 and has been one of the mainstays of the organisation for the past 60-odd years. On joining he immediately took on the role of Secretary-Treasurer and has been Honorary Treasurer since 1968. He founded and operated Star Air between 1976-2009 and was CFI from 1985 onward with CASA authorisation as a testing officer 1992-2009. Trevor-Jones is also an accomplished author, having written A History of Bathurst Aviation in 2009 and Flying is Like That in 2016. He is also a Bathurst Regional Council Living Legend.