HerStory Archive

Aviatrix Tapestry

  • Shirley Elaine ADKINS

    Born 18 March 1930

    Also known as: née Lee

    First woman Pres­i­dent of the Roy­al Aero Club of West­ern Aus­tralia (19791984).

    First woman elect­ed pres­i­dent of the Roy­al Fed­er­a­tion of Aero Clubs of Aus­tralia (19901997).


  • Allana ARNOT

    Born 1967

    Also known as: Allana Corbin

    In 1997 Allana Arnot became the first woman to cir­cum­nav­i­gate Aus­tralia solo in a heli­copter. She accom­plished this after teach­ing her­self how to walk and fly again fol­low­ing a plane…

  • Maude BONNEY

    Born 20 November 1897, Died 24 February 1994

    Also known as: Lores

    1931 Longest one day flight by an air­woman (Bris­bane — Wan­garat­ta) — 1600 km.

    1932 First woman to cir­cum­nav­i­gate Aus­tralia by air — 12 800 km.

    1933 First woman to fly from…

  • Jenny BREARLEY

    1986 — First woman to be elect­ed to the com­mit­tee of the Air­craft Own­ers and Pilots Association
    1999 — With Ruth Wil­son was first all female crew to com­pete in Gor­don Ben­nett Cup…

  • Millicent Maude BRYANT

    Born 8 January 1878, Died 3 November 1927

    Also known as: née Harvey

    On March 28, 1927, Mil­li­cent Bryant became the first Aus­tralian woman in to obtain a pilot’s licence. She drowned eight months lat­er in a Syd­ney fer­ry accident.

  • Christine DAVY

    Born 7 August 1934

    1963 — Won Aus­tralian Women Pilots’ Asso­ci­a­tion (A.W.P.A.) Annu­al Reli­a­bil­i­ty Tri­al and the Nan­cy Bird Trophy.

    1 Jan­u­ary 1970 — Award­ed Mem­ber of the Order of the British Empire…

  • Rosemary Mina De PIERRES

    Born 28/05/1926

    Also known as: née Vincent

    Rose­mary was a good friend of Robin Miller and often helped her with her vac­cine flights. She was the state pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralian Women Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion and then went on to be…

  • Carol DEHN

    Car­ol is a cap­tain for Qan­tas Link based in Mel­bourne. She has won many Aus­tralian Women Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion tro­phies. One of her most sat­is­fy­ing jobs has been fly­ing for the Air…

  • Mitzi FARR

    Born 1908

    Mitzi Farr was born in 1908, the same year the Wright broth­ers made a record flight. She had strong oppo­si­tion from her fam­i­ly but gained her license on a Gyp­sy Moth in 1931. In…

  • Margaret Helen GETHING

    Born 20 December 1920, Died 16 July 2005

    Also known as: née Gepp, Mardi

    Dur­ing World War II Mar­di joined the Air Trans­port Aux­il­iary deliv­er­ing dif­fer­ent types of air­craft. She and Vic­to­ria CHOL­MONDE­LEY were the only two Aus­tralian women fer­ry pilots in…

  • Bonnie HENDERSON

    Born 20 April 1963

    Also known as: née Henderson, Bonnie Palmer

    Bon­nie was the Aus­tralian Nation­al Aer­o­bat­ic Cham­pi­on for two con­sec­u­tive years, 1994 – 95.

    1997 — Wrote the book Her Father’s Daughter.
    Daugh­ter of Sara HEN­DER­SON of Bullo…

  • Aminta HENNESSY

    In 1978 Aminta Hen­nessy became the first Aus­tralian woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in a sin­gle-engine air­craft. She is also the first woman to com­plete solo back-to-back…

  • Dorothy Helena HERBERT

    Born 24 September 1922, Died 27 August 2014

    Dorothy Her­bert start­ed with the Roy­al Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice in 1961, locat­ed at Charleville, Queens­land. She worked 20 years for them, flew all over the out­back, and attend­ed outback…

  • Heather INNES

    Born 11 June 1939

    First woman to lead a drug squad in Aus­tralia — Aer­i­al Drug Spot­ting and Search and Res­cue Operations.

    Oper­ates own char­ter com­pa­ny on north west coast of Tas­ma­nia which is…

  • Frances JACKSON

    Also known as: née Hyatt

    1930 — First Tas­man­ian woman to become a pilot.
    First woman to fly from Goul­burn to Mas­cot and return. 

    Born in 1908, as a teenag­er, Frances Hyatt lived with her fam­i­ly at…

  • Anne Maree JENSEN

    Also known as: Sister Anne Maree Jensen, the flying nun

    Sis­ter Anne Maree Jensen is a Catholic Sis­ter who has been based at Lon­greach in Queens­land for the last ten years. She learnt to fly in order to reach peo­ple through­out her vast…

  • Dale Roger JONES

    Dale made her first flight in Alice Springs, North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry and went on to fly with oth­er pio­neer­ing women, both barn­storm­ers and com­mer­cial pilots. She helped co-ordi­nate the…

  • Margaret Mary KELMAN

    Born 6/4/1909, Died 23/12/1998

    Also known as: née McKillop, Peg, Peggy

    Peg­gy flew barn­storm­ing flights in New South Wales in 1935. In one day’s work she achieved 29 take offs. This Aussie pilot claimed but one record: The first and only…


    Born 1929

    Also known as: Nan

    An avi­a­trix on the muse­um’s Avi­a­trix Tapestry.

  • Joanne MEIN

    Born 1971

    Also known as: Jo

    First lieu­tenant Joanne Mein is the first woman mem­ber of the Roulettes in the 30-year his­to­ry of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force’s for­ma­tion aer­o­bat­ics team.


  • Robin Elizabeth MILLER

    Born 8 December 1940, Died 7 December 1975

    Also known as: née Miller, The Sugarbird Lady

    Robin was a nurse and a pilot. From 1967 – 69 she flew to many remote Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties admin­is­ter­ing the Sabin polio vac­cine on sug­ar cubes. The chil­dren called her the…

  • Mary O'BRIEN

    1987 — Made Exam­in­er of Air­men — the high­est avi­a­tion appoint­ment giv­en to a woman.

  • Margaret PRIOR

    Chief pilot of West­ern Australia.

  • Senja Raymond ROBEY

    Born 25/01/1927, Died 14/4/2020

    Also known as: née Havard

    A foun­da­tion mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Women Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion Sen­ja learned to fly in a Tiger Moth in 1949. She has taught hun­dreds of stu­dents to fly and fer­ried many air­craft to…

  • Cathy SALVAIR

    Born 17/10/1963

    Cathy has flown tour groups around Aus­tralia. She has endorse­ments in aer­o­bat­ics, for­ma­tion fly­ing, and float planes.
    1987 — Won the Lady Casey Scholarship.

    1979 — Her first…

  • Patricia Lyle TOOLE

    Born 11/1928, Died 04/2016

    Also known as: née Graham, Pat

    Pat was the first female to hold a com­mer­cial pilot’s license in Papua, New Guinea, 1952. Her license had lapsed when in her sev­en­ties she decid­ed to renew it. Her first solo…

  • Nancy-Bird WALTON, OBE, AO

    Born 16/10/1915, Died 13/1/2009

    Also known as: Nancy Bird, Nancy Bird Walton, Nancy Bird-Walton

    Nan­cy-Bird was a pio­neer­ing Avi­a­trix who in 1932, at the age of 17, was the youngest female Aus­tralian to gain a pilot’s license. Two years lat­er she became the first female…

  • Ellen WARREN

    Ellen was a staunch mem­ber of the Tas­man­ian branch exec­u­tive of the Aus­tralian Women Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion, and cel­e­brat­ed her 70th birth­day in 1994 by fly­ing a 172 on Sat­ur­day and the…

  • Marion F. WRIGHT

    Also known as: née Lunn, Brownie, Browny

    In 1934 Brown­ie was the first Aus­tralian woman pilot to go night fly­ing. There were no marked run­ways with lights, just kerosene flares made out of tin cans full of burn­ing rags. In…

  • Beryl YOUNG

    Beryl became famous when she was the chief pilot who flew Queens­land Pre­mier Joh Bjelke-Peter­son all over the state.

    Pio­neer Pilot.