A Few Words

About Us

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22-25 September 2015


Hotel Realm, Canberra


Australian Federation Air Pilots (AFAP) – Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) – Aerosafe Risk Management – Bevington Group – BHP Billiton – Canberra Airport – Civil Aviation Safety Authority – Cobham – Department of Defence (DDAAF) – Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development) – Emirates, Etihad – Honourable Company of Air Pilots – Pilatus – Qantas – Recreational Aviation Association of Australia (RA-Aus) – Regional Express (Rex) – Royal Aeronautical Society (Australia) – Thales – Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council – Virgin Australia.

Keynote speaker

Sir Angus Houston AK AFC

Sir Reginald Ansett Memorial Lecture

Marj Gillespie OAM Sir Angus Houston
Marj Gillespie OAM presenting Sir Angus Houston with the Ozwald Watt gold medal

Conference theme: ‘Training for change’

The conference opened with the Aviation Policy Group—the heads of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Airservices Australia and Defence aviation giving an overview of aviation safety issues in their respective domains.

Day 1  addressed the theme of training, with presentations covering aspects such as: ‘Pilot training: getting real’, Training for survival’, and ‘Planning training for change’.

One of the highlights of day 1 was Professor Patrick Hudson’s presentation entitled ‘The experience conundrum: we want it, we lost it’, which explored how you can train flight crew to manage the ‘weird, black swan events’.

Day 2 opened with UK barrister and QC, Gerard Forlin’s presentation ‘A smörgåsbord’, looking at the perils of litigation for the aviation industry. It continued with further presentations on ‘training for change’, including one from Captain Henry Donohoe, SVP Emirates Group Safety, on ‘Safety: the hard sell’.

The 2015 conference closed with Ian Honnery, chief executive, Aerospace Maritime and Defence Foundation Australia Limited (AMDA), giving the PG Taylor address.

For more detail, see the 2015 program and the 2015 Safeskies Conference webcasting, where you can download and watch on-demand webcasts of some of the conference sessions.

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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.