Highflying students land Aerospace Industry Education Awards

Published Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 at 02:40 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer joins the 2021 Aerospace Industry Education Awards finalists at Parliament House.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer joins the 2021 Aerospace Industry Education Awards finalists at Parliament House.

The next generation of Queenslanders to take to the skies has been celebrated as the winners of the annual Aerospace Industry Education Awards were announced at Parliament House today.


Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the awards recognise the achievements of students and teachers from participating Aerospace Gateway to Industry Schools.


“Under the Palaszczuk Government’s Gateway to Industry Schools Program (GISP), 19 schools have partnered with industry, giving students the opportunity to explore a career where the sky really is the limit,” Minister Farmer said.


“These partnerships deliver lessons with strong connections to the real work being done on the ground and in the air, including hangars and workshops across the state.


“Without a doubt, if we give students these real-life experiences, they are more likely to make great career choices and stay in that career.


“The end result is a cohort of young Queenslanders with big dreams, invaluable experience, and real commitment, which is exactly what we’ve celebrated today.”


Minister Farmer said it wouldn’t be possible without teachers like Kellie Baumgart from Balmoral State High School, who has taken home the Teacher Excellence Award.


“Aerospace student numbers are up 150 per cent at Balmoral thanks to Kellie’s passion and innovation, which includes a weekly masterclass on unmanned aircraft,” the Minister said.


“She has empowered young women to get involved in what was traditionally a male-dominated industry and has grown female participation in her Aerospace Systems class to 50 per cent.


“The students are lucky to have such a committed teacher and I congratulate Kellie on this well-deserved recognition.”


Minister Farmer said the reopening of Queensland’s borders to interstate and international travellers in the coming months will see more opportunities in aircraft maintenance and operations.


“We have committed to a new $60 million aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Rockhampton Airport, where Alliance Airlines’ fleet is expanding from 43 to 75,” Minister Farmer said.


“And on top of that, earlier this year, Boeing reported there would be a global aviation shortage of 600,000 pilots by 2040.


“School-based programs like GISP are critical to addressing skill shortages not just in aerospace and aviation, but sectors right across the economy.


“In our conversations with business and communities, it has been clear time and again that students seeing a pathway to interesting careers as they go through school supports better outcomes for students and a job-ready workforce.


“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government has committed a further $7.65 million to grow the Gateway to Industry Schools Program, with Aviation Australia leading the program’s aerospace projects.”


Aviation Australia’s CEO Bill Horrocks said the company was proud to be hosting the Awards and Gateway program. 


“This is a fantastic program unique to Queensland, where school students are offered the opportunity to safely explore careers in aerospace,” Mr Horrocks said. 


“Aviation Australia was established in 2001 to support the aerospace industry and now, during the company’s 20th anniversary, this program is a tremendous example of the role that we play in providing Queensland with a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.”


Following 78 applications received from 13 schools across QLD, 32 Aerospace Industry Education Awards finalists were recognised across 11 award categories.


The following winners were announced:


Year 10 GE Aviation Aerospace Award

Adam Towns, Aviation State High School


Year 11 Qantas Quest Award

Abby Wilson, St Columban’s College


Griffith Aviation Female Bursary

Noam Mendelson, Indooroopilly State High School


Year 12 Airbus Aerospace Systems Award

Hayley McCubbin, Coolum State High School


Spirit of Boeing Award

Finn Ruddell, Balmoral State High School


Royal Aeronautical Society Award

Noam Mendelson, Indooroopilly State High School


Honourable Company of Air Pilots Award

Prithvi Harish, Springfield Central State High School


AYAA Future Leader Aerospace Award

Kyle Newton, Aviation State High School and Kiara Gault, St Columban’s College


TAE Aerospace Young Innovator Award

Jessalee Hundermark and Jayden Richens, Mueller College


Aviation Australia FAME Aeroskills Scholarship

Rachel Baxter, Aviation State High School


Boeing Aeroskills Scholarship

Timothy Rollason, Indooroopilly State High School


Teacher Excellence Award

Kellie Baumgart, Balmoral State High School


Find out more at the Aerospace Gateway to Industry Schools website.



Media contact:           Ben Brew        0468 839 551