Being new to the EMO role, I thought it would be good to pass on my thoughts, observations and, for those who do not know me, a bit of my background. The last few weeks have been an eye opener to just how much work is done to keep us all flying, and to help us to fly with the freedoms we enjoy. The staff we have in our office are fantastic. They have a wealth of knowledge about gliding, our clubs across the country and our pilots.
We have obligations to CASA that offset the freedom we enjoy. Our paid staff plus the large number of volunteers in roles across the country allow us to fulfil our obligations. These obligations cross the boundaries of Operations, Airworthiness, Soaring Development, Marketing, Finance and IT. I see a team of people working together and giving back to our gliding movement.
I have inherited abundant information and received great support from Chris Thorpe. I would like to thank Chris for all the work that he has done for gliding over many years.
I am now buried in issues with Credentials, Operational Audits, Active Instructor Returns, Soar Report analysis and investigation, Instructor training, supporting our Regional Managers of Operations and your Club CFIs. I’ve also been dealing with minor bugs in the Exam system, questions about our rules and regulations, and review of manuals. All this plus more are needed to meet our CASA obligations. The learning curve is steep but very enjoyable.
I am a nerd. I started in Radio and Satellites with Overseas Telecommunications Commission as a technician and then moved into computers, first with Prime Computers in 1980 and later at Silicon Graphics/SGI (1990). I worked in hardware and software engineering. After a couple of stints working in Silicon Valley, I ended up in management looking after the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.
Coincidentally in 1990, I started gliding. I did a one-week course at Lake Keepit and have Ian McPhee and Gary Speight to thank for injecting me with the gliding drug. I started instructing after a few years as I felt it was important to give back. People taught me to fly, and I should ‘pay it forward’.
I am now a level 3 Instructor and the CFI/CTP for Southern Cross Gliding Club at Camden near Sydney. It is a busy club. We have 150 members and an impressive fleet, in a gliding precinct that has been put together by the clubs at Camden. I have also been involved with SCGC Committee, NSW Gliding, GFA Board and was Vice President of the GFA.
In my new role, I want to continue providing good service to our members and working with the rest of our Executive team on keeping us safe and with the freedom to fly. I look forward to growth in gliding within Australia. Our new organizational structure is an enabler for this. I look forward to meeting and talking to our members in the future. One Team, One Sport, One Gliding.
Executive Manager Operations