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Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia Canberra Summit

On Thursday 17 August 2017, three students from Merici College attended the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia summit at the National Museum. The students were Tahlia Rajic and Anna Carstens (Year 11), and Jade Esler (Year 10), and their places were sponsored by Lockheed Martin.  Tahlia and Anna were part of Merici’s engineering elective in 2016 and are now looking ahead to STEM-based careers.  Jade qualified for her recreational pilot’s licence this year at age 16, and is planning a career in aviation.  Also attending with the encouragement of their lecturer  Professor Gabriel Lodewijks, Head, School of Aviation were three students from UNSW Sydney studying aviation management, Paige Johnson, Tanisha De Hoedt and Sophia Miller Hamor.

The aim of the summit was to share and discuss existing and future initiatives to encourage greater gender diversity in aviation and aerospace engineering, and – though there is still a way to go – it was exciting for the students to hear the progress that is being made on this front.

The summit gave the students a chance to hear talks from leaders in industry, government and the airforce and to make connections with a variety of people. There was significant interest from other attendees and the students and they were able to make some valuable contacts. 

Dr Kathryn White, Science Teacher Merici college, made connections with Lockheed Martin, the Royal Australia Air Force diversity department and many more aviation organisations to collaborate with real-world connections on the school’s engineering elective, launching a module that has been designed under the theme of aerospace and mechatronic engineering. 

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