Sydney Flight College (SFC) leaders made their way to Broken Hill on Tuesday to show around 50 of our high school students how they could get into a career in flying.
The students, ranging from Year 9 to Year 12, gathered at Willyama High School in the morning for a classroom session with SFC CEO Joseph Pilo and President Frank Peronace who explained to the students the work SFC do and what the journey to becoming a pilot might look like, answering their questions while providing advice and ideas for students considering that career path.
In the afternoon, the group went to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) base in Broken Hill, with the students taken on a history tour and able to chat to RFDS pilot David Rogers, while also taking a look and sitting inside one of the planes, an King Air B200C.
SFC Head of Marketing, Raymond Toutounji, said the day allowed students to hear and see first-hand the benefits of the profession, while also hearing about the great work RFDS do.
“It’s crucial we’re out here communicating and talking to students face-to-face. It allows the kids to connect with aviation, it allows them to see the pathways and the possibilities, particularly out in the regions,” Mr Toutounji told the Barrier Truth.
“It seems the further we go, there’s more perceived barriers and there’s less opportunities, less people are coming out to talk about aviation, talk about pathways, talk about what subjects to do. So this allows them just to open up a little bit more. And if we come out here and one or two kids now can see aviation as a possible pathway, then that’s a plus for us.
“It’s about fostering and nurturing aviation from humble beginnings,” Mr Pilo said.
“It’s not about just creating pilots, it’s about the whole industry. I think for us, today’s a step forward in what we’re trying to achieve for the greater good for aviation in Australia. It’s great to be a part of it.
Mr Petronace added, “the number one item in our Constitution is to foster aviation wherever we can. I think we’ve done that today in a big way, and that’s our main drive, we’ve got to be doing that, and everything else flows from it”.
Pilot David Rogers gave a talk to the students and showed them the inside of the King Air B200C.
“It’s been a good opportunity to inspire and encourage the next generation that they can chase the same dreams that I’ve been able to chase”, he told us.
“It’s been rewarding to help with that in a small way and the kids seemed motivated to learn and engage.”