Safeskies Australia conference 

20-22 September 2022

SMS for smaller organisations

26 & 27 October 2021

0830 – 1030 AEDT

Recent events

SMS for smaller organisations

Safeskies Australia and RMIT University presented two webinars focusing on ‘SMS for smaller organisations’ in late October.   

26 October 2021

The first of two webinars held by Safeskies Australia in collaboration with RMIT University. Melbourne focusing on safety management systems (SMS) for smaller organisations. Features presentations from the regulator, Ash McAlpine – CASA, and three industry speakers: Bridgette Hasting, chief pilot of small, family owned tourism company, Barossa Helicopters; Mike Hutchinson, aviation safety manager with Exxon-Mobil; and Adrianne Fleming, head of operations of Tristar Aviation, a Melbourne-based flying training organisation.

27 October 2021

The second, and final webinar of the ‘SMS for smaller organisations’ series looks at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA’s) SMS evaluation tool, and examines three SMS elements in more detail, and challenges and successes for the smaller organisations represented in implementing these: safety policy & objectives; hazard ID & risk assessment; and management of change. Panellists from webinar one, Ash McAlpine, CASA; Bridgette Hasting, Barossa Helicopters; Mike Hutchinson, Exxon-Mobil; and Adrianne Fleming, Tristar Aviation, return to discuss these topics, and answer attendees’ questions.


Past Events


Over the years, Safeskies has brought numerous well-known aviation personnel to Australia, including the first keynote speaker, John J Nance. Nance, a pilot, is a leader and a pioneer in both aviation and medical safety and quality, and for almost 20 years has been a familiar face to North American television audiences as the aviation analyst for ABC World News and Good Morning America, and for appearances on the crash investigation series, Mayday.

Other distinguished speakers have included: space pioneer Dr Bill Gaubatz (Delta-Clipper space project); two chiefs of the RAAF; the NTSB Board Chairman, Mark Rosenker; former Chairman, CAA UK, Sir Roy McNulty; Director of the Air Navigation Bureau (ICAO) Ms Nancy Graham; and most recently, in 2019, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr Fang Liu.

Themes and topics

Safeskies has focused from time to time on a range of themes, including ‘Setting the right aviation safety culture’; ‘Safety in the globalised economy’; Learning the lessons of the past’; ‘Making safety management systems work’; and ‘Training and change’. Conference topics include a broad range  of aviation activities, civil and military: flight operations, engineering and maintenance, ground handling, training, air traffic management, safety management systems and organisational culture, across sectors ranging from airlines and charter to recreational aviation, emergency services and the growing unmanned sector.

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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.