High flying students take to the skies with new camp

A trio of Griffith University Aviation students are helping high school students take to the skies alongside Qantas, Airbus and the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a three-day camp. 

The Aviation Flight Camp 2018 will see 24 Year 10 and 11 students take part in a range of activities, connect with student mentors, and hear from industry speakers at locations such as Brisbane Airport, Archerfield Airport and flight procedure labs at Griffith’s Nathan campus. 

The camp was the brainchild of Griffith Aviation students Kate Richards, Inez Leggett and Sarina Hicks. 

Camp co-creator Richards, who is a third-year Aviation student, said nearly 80 students from around Queensland applied for a chance to attend the non-live-in camp, with one of the successful applicants coming from as far north as Cairns. 

“The whole camp works as a pathway for prospective aviation students,” Richards said.  

“It will demonstrate to these students how you can go from knowing absolutely nothing about aviation to doing really cool things and one day flying planes.”  

Griffith’s Aviation program this year celebrates 25 years since its inception. In that time the university has forged firm relationships including with QantasLink and BASAIR, formed the MATES (Mentoring Aviators Through Educational Support) program for students and became part of the Qantas Future Pilot Program. 

Camp co-creator Inez Leggett said the three-day camp would give high school students the ideal headstart in their aviation studies and industry networking. 

“The MATES program gives you exposure to industry – but the students doing the camp will get to do tours and meet industry representatives now, before they start university, plus they’ll have a Griffith buddy who can guide them,” she said.  

“They’re going to already be welcome as a part of Griffith Aviation before even finishing high school, which is going to set them up to develop their own leadership capabilities within the aviation industry further down the track.” 

Students will get to experience both commercial and military aviation during the camp, with activities including: 

  • Simulator session in the Griffith Flight Procedures Lab undertaking a virtual flight 
  • Mentor lunch and presentation by Industry Pilots 
  • Tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Hangar 
  • Behind the scenes tour of Qantas at the Brisbane Airport 
  • Tour with Airbus 
  • Tour with BASAIR at the Archerfield airport 
  • Free introductory flight with BASAIR for three lucky winning students at the end 

Associate Professsor Gui Lohmann, who is Head of the Aviation Discipline, said Griffith had the largest Aviation program in Australia and the Aviation Flight Camp was a great opportunity for high school students. 

“It will give these students a glimpse of the successful student experience and why Griffith Aviation has built such a strong reputation within the Aviation industry, both in Australia and overseas,” Associate Professor Lohmann said.