Women in A/AA Melbourne Summit 2023

Wed 11 Oct 2023 (9:00am - 3:30pm)
The Capitol Theatre
113 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Member $420.00
Non-member $450.00
Student $150.00
Pack of 10 Member Tickets $4,000.00

Women in A/AA Melbourne Summit 2023


The Melbourne Summit 2023 is coming up Wednesday, 11 October at the The Capitol - RMIT University.



Dr Aneesha Varghese Cowan, Director at Global CFO Solutions & Non-Executive Director at Aviation/Aerospace Australia


LTCOL Wendy Wheadon, Lieutenant Colonel, Cargo Helicopter and Uncrewed Surveillance Program Office (CHUSPO), Capability and Sustainment Group at the Australian Army


Sarah McSwiney, Engineering Strategy and Operations Manager at Boeing Defence Australia & Chair at Aviation/Aerospace AustraliaKate Reid, Founder at Lune Croissanterie

Kate Reid, Founder of Lune Croissanterie, lays claim to fame for having some of the best croissants in the world. What led her to this place in her career? Aerospace. Kate Reid studied Aerospace Engineering at RMIT University, and at age 23, began working for the Williams F1 racing team. Kate's career path has been anything but linear a career with realisation that her solid foundation in engineering gave her a skill for precision pastries.

Silva Mcleod, Author of Island Girl to Airline Pilot & Tonga's first female pilot & Amy Spicer, Founder & Author of Girls Can Fly Anything  - Sponsored by Virgin Australia

Meet two trailblazers. Silva Mcleod is author of Island Girl to Airline Pilot, her debut novel telling her life story as the first Tongan woman to become an airline pilot – still one of only a handful today. Amy Spicer is the author of online magazine Girls Can Fly Anything and at 10 years old, has begun her career pipeline with a clear goal in sight – medical assistance pilot.


Sector Overview
Ruth Kim, Director of Manufacturing Operations at Boeing Aerostructures Australia

To kick off the agenda and help develop the overarching narrative of the event, the Sector Overview will discuss the landscape and current climate of the industry and how that has changed over the last years. Speakers will range from aerospace, airline, and defence contractors to provide a holistic understanding of the timeline. Discussion will provide a lens on knowledge of business to articulate where the sector is currently placed. How do each sectors manage their product, people, and deadlines in today’s landscape? Why are they the priorities and who are the major players?

Skills & Future Solutions
WNGCDR Melanie Buswell
, Commanding Officer Air Training and Aviation Commons System Program Office, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group at the Royal Australian Air Force
Aries Calonzo, Head of Sales ANZ & Pacific at Cirium
Jeff Hemenway
, Senior Vice President, Global Industrial Sales at Stratasys
Mori Hajizadeh, Industry Engagement Manager at Industry Skills Australia

The Skills & Future Solutions Panel will look at how the industry manages retention, recruitment, transfer and value of skills, and how lived experience informs how organisations manage problem solving. Speaker perspectives will range from ADF to Space, with a technical lens from the panel moderator. This is to allow for a conversation that encapsulates the broad skills within the sectors and how that informs future solutions, and how COVID-19 and return to work has given the industry new opportunities in recruitment.

Pipelines and Possibilities
Alana Barber, Management Trainee & Qantas General Graduate 2023 aty Qantas Airways
Hasini Jayatissa, Senior Project Manager Transformation & Fleet at Jetstar Airways
Deepa Selva, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate at Swinburne University of Technology

Following the success of our Youth Inclusion Panels earlier this year, the Pipelines & Possibilities Panel will address the different pathways through graduate programs and into the workforce, and generational changes in the benefit or perspective of stepping in and out of organisations or industry. Discussion will address expectations vs reality in the shift from study to employment, disconnections and opportunities in the pipeline in the current landscape and provide young professionals a platform to address issues that they currently face.

More speakers and agenda to be released.


Photo credit: Fiona Carter


Aviation/Aerospace Australia

1300 889 459
[email protected]