A Few Words

About Us

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17-19 September 2003


Hyatt Hotel, Canberra

Conference dinner and Sir Reginald Ansett Memorial Lecture: Parliament House


Accenture – Air New Zealand – Airservices Australia – Australian Air Express – Australian Parachute Federation Inc. – Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) – Aviation Safety Foundation Australia – Avis Australia – Boeing Commercial Airplanes – British Airways – Canberra International Airport – Cathay Pacific – Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) – Department of Defence – Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTRS) – DuPont (Australia) Ltd – Emirates Airlines – Gliding Federation of Australia – Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) – Horizon Airlines – KLM City Hopper – National Jet Systems – Pel Air Aviation – QANTAS Airways Limited – Royal Australian Air Force – THALES Training and Simulation – Trans Australian Air Pty Ltd – Virgin Blue Airlines

Keynote speaker

Geoff Dixon

CEO Qantas Airways Limited: Sir Reginald Ansett Memorial Lecture


Safeskies 2003 banner

Conference theme: ‘Maintaining the focus’

The 2003 conference celebrated one hundred years of aviation since the Wright Brothers’ first flight, and adopted the theme: ‘Maintaining the focus’.

Day 1 began with the Hon. John Anderson, Minister for Transport and Regional Services, officially opening the conference.

Three keynote addresses followed, beginning with an address entitled ‘Maintaining the focus: what have we learned since deregulation?’ by John J Nance (the keynote speaker for the inaugural Safeskies in 1993). The theme continued with the acting director of CASA, Bruce Gemmell’s presentation on ‘Maintaining the focus: the regulator’s view of safety management’, and CEO of Airservices Australia, Bernie Smith’s address on ‘Maintaining the focus: airspace’.

‘Safety management in new generation large aircraft’ discussed safety issues surrounding the A380’s development and was the topic of Airbus safety director, Francis Guimera’s presentation.

Virgin Blue’s COO, Rob Sherrard, discussed establishing a safety system in a new, start-up airline, and DuPont aviation safety executives gave delegates insights into managing ‘below-the-wing’ safety.  

Day 1 also saw the first series of concurrent workshops: on SMS, cabin safety and security, and airport and ramp safety.

‘Safety in the Australian Defence Force’ opened day 2, followed by presentations from organisations including the ATSB, Cranfield College, Boeing, Qantas (‘Airspace management’ from Captain Trevor Jensen), Boeing, KLM (Captain Deborah Laurie), the Flight Safety Foundation, and the Australian Sports Aviation Confederation.

The day 2 concurrent workshops (‘focused discussion sessions’) covered: technology and maintenance and airspace management. Dr Rob Lee chaired the conference wrap-up, and consideration of the discussion session reports.

For more detail, see the full 2003 conference program.

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Dr Sue Burdekin

Life member of Safeskies from 2020

Most recently, Dr 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.