Our story

Purpose

What we do

Safeskies educates about, and promotes, aviation safety. Through our biennial conferences and other events, we facilitate access to the world’s leading aviation safety practitioners and researchers.

Safeskies provides cross-fertilisation of aviation safety ideas and approaches across all sectors of the aviation industry—civil and military.

Safeskies aims to identify and promote effective solutions to the safety challenges facing the aviation industry globally.

While Safeskies is funded widely by government and industry groups with an interest in aviation safety, it operates independently of such groups, allowing Safeskies to adopt a non-partisan approach to vital aviation safety issues.

Who we are

Our Board

Captain Peter Raven

AM MAP JP B Avst FRAeS CMILT

Chairman

Mr G.A. 'Peter' Lloyd 1920-2022

AC OBE MiD FRAeS FAIM FCILT

Our Life Members
Robert (Bob) Warn

B Ec BSc FCILT (Life member)

Founder, and founding chairman of Safeskies

Life member of Safeskies from 2016

Ian Dale (Dale) Yeaman—
Wing Commander I D Yeaman
FCILT RAAF (Ret’d) Life member from 2016
Sue Burdekin

Life member from August 2020

Our past

History

Safeskies was founded in late 1992 as a sub-committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Australia (CILTA). CILTA held the first Safeskies Australia conference in October 1993; and in 2001, Safeskies Australia was incorporated as a separate body.

The biennial Safeskies is now a well-established event on the aviation calendar, recognised as a significant aviation safety conference in Australasia and the southern hemisphere.

The 2019 Safeskies conference was the fourteenth conference in the series, held every two years in Australia’s national capital, Canberra. With the disruption caused to the aviation industry and events alike by the COVID-19 pandemic, the next Safeskies conference, due in 2021, is scheduled for early 2022.

Image | Phil Sharp

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Captain Peter Raven

AM MAP JP BAvst CMILT FRAeS

Chairman

Appointed to the board in 2001

 

Peter is a liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (HCAP) and a freeman of the City of London. He chairs the HCAP trophies and awards committee for the Australian region, and is current chairman of Safeskies Australia Inc. having been a board member since 2001.

His services to aviation and aviation safety have been recognised with several awards: in 2019, he was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to aviation safety. The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (now HCAP) awarded him the Australian Bi-Centennial Award for services to aviation in 2003, and in 1997, the Master Air Pilot Certificate.

Captain Raven has been active in pilot management and industrial matters. A founding member and committee member of the Australian and International Pilots Association rising to Vice President and a member of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots and Aus. ALPA. He is also a company director.

Peter commenced flying training and became licensed as a private pilot in 1964. He went on to graduate as a commercial pilot and qualified flying instructor in 1965. After gaining 1500 hundred hours of charter and instruction time, was accepted as a Qantas pilot in 1966, and flew for Qantas until he retired in 2013. Most of those over-45 years were spent flying first Boeing 707s, and then B747s, with 30 years as a captain, and 20 as a check and training captain. During his last eight years with Qantas, he flew the B737 in the domestic division. Other responsibilities during his time with Qantas included being a B747 route supervisor and acting as a member of the pilot selection panel.

His regular flying and training kept him current in aviation areas such as airspace management, emergency and safety procedures, drug and alcohol management, dangerous goods, as well as cockpit resource management and threat and error management. His aviation involvement continues post retirement: flying a C172 and as a member of three aero clubs, of RAAus (Recreational Aviation Australia, and with regular attendance at the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs annual conferences.

For his Bachelor of Aviation Studies degree, Peter studied International aviation law, and airline and airport management.

Flying and managing aircraft safely in today’s world are foremost in Peter’s mind, as well as the training of young people entering the profession.

Commodore (Ret'd) Chris Smallhorn

Deputy-chairman

Appointed to the board in 2014

Chris Smallhorn was born in Toowoomba, Queensland and attended the Toowoomba Grammar School before joining the Navy in 1987.

Chris graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1991 and the Center for Defence and Strategic Studies in 2014. He holds a Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering, and a Masters degree in Business Administration. He was awarded his Naval Aviator wings in 1993 before completing numerous operational deployments flying the S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter. Chris is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

During his military career Chris held multiple command and staff roles including Officer-in-Charge of the Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit, Commanding Officer 816 Squadron, Chief of Staff to the Chief of Navy, Director of the Maritime Safety Bureau, Commander of the Fleet Air Arm, Director General Air and Land Combat Analysis and Acting First Assistant Secretary Contestability.

Upon leaving the Navy in 2020 he was appointed CEO of Coulson Aviation Australia, then Vice President Government Affairs for the same company. Leaving Coulson’s in 2022 Chris holds a portfolio of professional roles. He accepted an Adjunct Associate Professorship at the University of Sydney in 2021 and concurrently conducts Independent Assurance Reviews of Defence’s major acquisition programs, provides government affairs and technical advice to AMSL Aero Pty Ltd and is an Airworthiness Board member for Defence. 

Chris is a former Emergency Medical Services and SAR pilot flying for both Westpac Lifesaver and the former Telstra Childflight where he flew on weekends and leave periods during his military career. He has over 2500 flying hours in more than 35 different military and civilian aircraft types.

He has been a Director on the Board of Safeskies Australia since 2014 and is currently Vice Chairman of the Board.

Chris lives on the South Coast of NSW and is married to Kerina and has two adult children Brittony and Claire.

Grahame Hill

Board Member and Secretary

Appointed to the board in April 2019

Grahame Hill is the current president of the Air Sport Australia Confederation (ASAC), the national controlling body for all air sports in Australia. These involve: aerobatics, gliding, hang gliding, parachuting/skydiving, aero modelling/drones and ballooning. ASAC is affiliated to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body for air sports. The FAI has over130 member nations.

He is a past chairman of the Australian Parachute Federation (APF), from 2014 to 2018, and a director of the APF to December 2018.

He is currently convenor of NSW Regional Airspace Procedures Advisory Committee (RAPAC), and been involved with RAPAC since its inception some 30 years ago.

He was appointed by the Deputy PM to his General Aviation Advisory Group in 2018, a diverse group which provides advice to the federal minister on a wide range of issues affecting general aviation.

Grahame was the chief parachute instructor of Sydney Skydiving Centre for 23 years. In that time, he accomplished over 13,000 jumps and accumulated over 3500 command hours, flying skydivers in aircraft ranging from small Cessnas up to Twin Otters. The Twin Otters dropped 20 parachutists per sortie. During his time as a chief instructor, tandem jumping was introduced, which opened skydiving up to the wider community.

In 2014, Grahame retrieved a Russian Yak18T from Uzbekistan and rebuilt the aircraft, which is still flying today.

Along with being a chief instructor, Grahame was the APF Director-Flying Operations, from 2006 to 2014. The role required development of standard operating procedures for parachuting operations and entailed introducing formal training and certification of pilots involved in parachuting training operations. Manuals and advisory material were developed to ensure the procedures and pilot training were consistent, as there were over 70 training organisations nationally, operating over 70 aircraft.

Grahame believes a focus on aviation safety makes good sense for the short- and long-term success of any activity. In the ever-changing aviation environment, be they regulatory, financial, or other factors, the public expects safety to be the prime consideration in any aviation activity.

Grahame was appointed as a board member and secretary of Safeskies Australia in April 2019.

Ms Linda Spurr

Fellow Certified Practising Accountant
GAICD B.Bus (Acc)

Board Member and Treasurer

Appointed to the board in July 2016

 

Linda Spurr is an independent non-executive director and an accomplished senior executive. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the aviation industry. In her previous executive position with Airservices Australia, she held the role of Registered Training Organisation CEO, responsible for all operational training covering air traffic control, aviation rescue and firefighting, and technical and engineering support services.

Linda is former Deputy Chair of Aviation Aerospace Australia and currently serves on several boards, including the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame and the RMIT University Aviation Industry Advisory Committee.

Linda is a Fellow Chartered Practising Accountant, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds qualifications in training, accounting, business management, quality auditing and financial markets.

Linda’s career spans the private and public sectors and not-for-profit organisations. With strong commercial acumen, she has led significant reform initiatives and contestability programs in education and training, shared services, and health services. Linda’s achievements have been recognised with various industry awards including the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards and CPA Australia Awards.

David Harvey

Board member

Appointed to the board in 2000

David Harvey is the principal of D.R. Harvey Consulting providing strategy development advice and management consultancy services to major organisations in the aviation, infrastructure and defence sectors.

David has previously held senior executive roles at John Holland Group, Thales and ADI Limited, both in Australia and abroad. His experience includes operational roles running complex services, aviation, technology development and manufacturing businesses and corporate roles in sales, marketing and strategy.

He has served on the boards of the French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Simulation Industry Association of Australia and is a director of a number of private companies.

He graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College in 1976 and served in various Australian ships and submarines until 1984.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport of Australia.

Chris McKie

Chris McKie

Board member

Appointed to the board in June 2020

 

Chris McKie is the general manager Safety Systems and Operations Support for the Virgin Australia Group, having commenced with the Group in early 2018 as the Head of Safety and Security for Tigerair. Prior to Virgin Australia, Chris spent five years with Cobham Aviation Services in senior safety roles, with the last three years as the Senior Vice President Safety, Risk & Environment. In this role Chris had functional responsibility for aviation safety, work health and safety, security and environment across the primary operations in the United Kingdom and Australia and across various remote locations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Papua New Guinea and Asia.

Before these senior safety roles, Chris held numerous other roles including Director of Aerospace Training with the Western Australia Government; project management consultant, and seven years as an air traffic controller in the Royal Australian Air Force and with Airservices Australia. Chris has spent time developing and rolling out the Avalon Air Show safety management system and holds the position of Executive Manager Aviation Safety during the biennial Show. Chris is an aviation safety investigator, safety and quality lead auditor and also holds a pilot’s licence.

Air Vice Marshal (Ret'd) Alan Clements

Board member

Appointed to the board July 2020

 

Alan Clements retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020 after almost 35 years of service. Most recently, he served as the Defence attaché and head of Australian Defence at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. There, he was the senior most military officer charged with coordinating the bilateral defence partnership between the US and Australia.

Alan is an F/A-18 fighter pilot and squadron commander (77 Squadron), and as a qualified flying instructor has taught from ab-initio (civil and military) through to F/A-18 operational pilot training. He has held command responsibilities at every rank up to air vice marshal, with operational experience as the chief of staff of Australian National Headquarters and as the battle director in the Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East. Throughout his career he has held various safety positions including squadron safety officer, and director of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety. 

He is an experienced senior executive with strong values-based leadership to drive high-level team performance. His broad experience across operations, education, training, safety, whole of government, international relations and industry sectors contribute to him being a strategic, innovative and astute professional. Alan was selected and trusted by the senior Defence leadership team to lead cultural and organisational change at executive level in high profile operational, education and safety organisations. 

His tertiary qualifications include aircraft accident investigation management from Cranfield University (UK), and a master’s in management from the University of Canberra (AUS).

Jackie Dujmovic

Board member

Appointed to the board July 2020

 

Jackie Dujmovic is the motivating, innovative founder and CEO of Hover UAV, an internationally recognised drone consultancy and systems management company. 

Her vision is to provide solutions—for Hover UAV to be the critical link between emerging drone technologies, industry, schools, enterprise and governments. As CEO, Jackie is integral to empowering the implementation of innovative safe and efficient drone programs.

Jackie’s strength lies in communication, in developing a strong dialogue with regulators on a local, national and international level. By doing this, she can help integrate revolutionary drone systems in everyday life, while maintaining focused on safety, compliance and complex operational approvals. 

Jackie has recently received accolades within both the UAS and business worlds. She was a 2018 honoree as a ‘woman to watch’ in the Unmanned Aerial System Industry for conservation; a finalist in the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) 2019 award for Leadership and Humanitarian Company of the Year, and a 2020 finalist in the AAUS ‘Safety and Training’ company category.

Jackie also sits on the boards of WeRobotics and the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems. WeRobotics is an international humanitarian organisation whose goal is to accelerate the positive impact of local aid, health, development and environmental projects WeRobotics does this by training local partners on how to use robotics technology responsibly and effectively to accelerate and scale social-good solutions

On the board of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems, Jackie has special responsibility for liaising on behalf of commercial members of the AAUS with government agencies such as CASA and Airservices; and is part of the AAUS/industry UTM working group

www.hoveruav.com.au

Mr G.A. 'Peter' Lloyd

1920-2022

AC OBE MiD FRAeS FAIM FCILT

Former Patron, President Emeritus and Chairman

Peter served his nation in times of war and peace. He enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1940 and served with distinction in both the Middle East and New Guinea. On 8 March 1945 Peter was Mentioned in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished service in the South-West Pacific.  

In 1951, Lloyd was elected honorary treasurer of the Royal Aero Club of New South Wales, in 1957 to 1967 its president, and again presided over the club in the 70s. When he joined the club, it was flying only two aircraft; under his leadership it became the largest training school in the Commonwealth.

In 1958 he became the president of the Federation of Australian Aero Clubs, building the Federation from eight clubs to 82 during his presidency. Under the RFACA, he encouraged the other aviation sports (gliding, ballooning, parachuting, hang-gliding, aerobatics, model aircraft, etc.) to compete nationally and internationally.

Lloyd was founding president of the Australian Aerobatic Club (AAC), a position he held for seven years, from 1970 to 1977. Through the AAC, Australia competed in FAI world events. Until his death, he was honorary governor of the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation, which is now the Australian FAI representative.

He became a member, freeman, and later liveryman of the London based Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators and was chairman of its Australian regional branch in 1975 and 1976, the first non-professional airman to be elected.

During the years he served in the FAI, first as Treasurer-General for nine years from 1976 to 1984, then as the first Vice President from 1982 to 1986, and finally as President from 1986 to 1988, he actively supported the development of sport aviation on a worldwide basis. The FAI represents a membership of 130 nations. 

As FAI president, he was called on to help in many matters of national and international consequence. He worked personally with Gorbachev of the USSR and Ronald Reagan of the USA and other world leaders to free a teenage German flyer, held after illegally flying into Moscow. He also liaised with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) enabling the recognition of gliding, hang gliding and parachuting as Olympic sports. He was instrumental in the plan to develop the World Air Games held in Greece in 1995.

At the request of the Australian Prime Minister, in 1969 he was the chairman and chief executive officer of the BP Captain Cook Bicentenary Air Race from London to Sydney. Of the 72 aircraft that left Gatwick Airport, 58 crossed the finish line at Sydney’s Bankstown Aerodrome within 15 minutes of each other. 

Also a highly accomplished and respected businessman, he was founding chairman of directors of Helicopter Utilities Limited, which operated up to 118 helicopters in Australia and other countries, including Korea, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. His work did much to have helicopters recognised as a rural tool in Australia. The automotive business in which he was involved at one time, ran a fleet of 600 vehicles.

For 14 years he served as an honorary director of Australia’s famous and unique Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

In 1989 he was presented with the FAI Gold Air Medal, the world’s highest and most prestigious civil aviation award, joining Bert Hinkler and Sir Donald Anderson as the only Australians to have held the honour. In 1992, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, which recognised him as the ‘father of sport aviation in Australia and internationally’.

He remained proud of the fact that he was a fighting soldier in the Australian Imperial Force during World War 11 in the Middle East, New Guinea and Papua New Guinea and was decorated for bravery.

He was educated at Shore School, Sydney, and studied at Sydney University (post WW 11). He was a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, (and a CILT life member), the Australian Institute of Management and several others. 

Decorations

  • AC – Companion of the Order of Australia – Services to International Affairs and Aviation
  • OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire –Service to Aviation and the Motor Industry
  • MiD – Mention in Dispatches WWII – Decoration for bravery as a soldier
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
  • Australian Sport Medal 2000
  • Yuri Gagarin Medal – Russia – Services to aeronautics and cosmonautics and the cause of world peace
  • Order of Svazam (1st Class) Czechoslovakia – Services to Aviation and the cause of World peace through Air Sport without fear or favour for Nationality, Colour, Race or Creed
  • World War II – 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; and Pacific Star – plus Service Medals

Awards

  • World Gold Air Medal – the world’s highest aviation award
  • Oswald Watt Gold Air Medal – Australia’s highest aviation award
  • FAI Bronze Medal – Service to International Aviation
  • Paul Tissandier Diplome – Services to Aviation and Air Sport
  • Patron’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Aviation Safety Foundation of Australasia
  • FAI – Grand Master’s Commendation for outstanding Aviation achievement
  • President of Honour – FAI
  • Companion d’Honneur de la FAI
  • Australian Gold Air Sport Medal (Inaugural Medal – 2010)
  • Presented in Sydney, on behalf of President Ronald Reagan, by USA Major
  • General Clifton Von Kann – a White House Flown USA Ensign
  • Life Member – Australian Parachute Federation
  • Honorary Life Member, Recreational Aviation Australia (RA AUS)
  • Honorary Life Member of Aero Clubs; nationally and internationally
  • Inducted member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • Medal of the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia – Services to Aviation.

Robert (Bob) Warn

B Ec BSc FCILT (Life member)

Founder, and founding chairman of Safeskies

Life member of Safeskies from 2016

Bob Warn is the founding chairman of Safeskies, and served as a director on the board for 24 years. He is a fellow of the Chartered Insitute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), and has an ongoing interest in economics and market logistics, especially in the realm of transport infrastructure and the tourism industry.

Founded Safeskies—first Chairman 1992–93
Vice chairman 1993–2008
Treasurer 2008 –2011
Public officer 2000–2011 & 2014–2016
Director 2011–2016

Wing Commander I D Yeaman

FCILT RAAF (Ret’d)

Life member of Safeskies from 2016

Founding Committee Member 1992-2016
Communications & Publicity Officer 1992-2005

Sue Burdekin

Life member of Safeskies from 2020

Most recently, Sue Burdekin was the Aviation Program Coordinator in ADFA’s School of Engineering and Information Technology. She is a highly credentialled academic and researcher in human factors; and has been a senior lecturer in human factors and aviation safety since 2001. She has had experience in GA management and is a commercial pilot. She is a committee member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the European Association for Aviation Psychology, the Australian Aviation Psychology Association, the International Society of Air Safety Investigation, the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (a former state president), and a former board member of Safeskies.

She and her partner, Dr Robert (Rob) Lee, were regular speakers at Safeskies, bringing their wide-ranging and considerable human factors expertise to the conferences.