Australian Women Pilots’ Association

The benefits of becoming a member of the AWPA are many and with the range of scholarships and awards available, it creates many opportunities for all ages and levels of experience.

Our History

On 16 September 1950, a group of thirty-five women became charter members of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association at a meeting at Bankstown Airport in Sydney.

These women pilots of all ages and experience became the core of a nationwide network that today, like then, aims to assist women to achieve their goals in aviation. AWPA is an entirely voluntary organisation.

About AWPA

Our Mission

  • To foster closer relationships and unity among women pilots

  • To assist women to undertake flying in Australia and elsewhere

  • To develop public interest in aviation, especially among women

  • To assist in the development of aviation in general

Founder Nancy-Bird Walton

Nancy-Bird Walton, AO, OBE, DStJ (16 October 1915 – 13 January 2009) was a pioneering Australian aviator and was the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association. In the 1930s, defying the traditional role of females of her time, she became a fully qualified pilot at the age of 19 and became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s licence.

Amongst her many achievements, she was awarded the Order of Australia in 1966, The Order of the British Empire, and The Venerable Order of Saint John. Nancy-Bird Walton was inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame on 25th November 2017 for being the youngest woman to obtain a commercial licence in the British Empire in 1934 and founder of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.

Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund Account was established in 2005 for the purpose of building and maintaining sufficient funds for the Association to enable the Association to be or to become, financially independent and secure.

A goal of $250,000 was set. When the goal has been reached the interest-only which accrues, or further amount may be withdrawn and in such amounts, as the National Committee resolves provided the capital amount remains at the sum of at least $250,000.

Endowment Fund
Lady Casey Scholarship

Lady Casey Scholarship

The Lady Casey became the patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association at its inaugural meeting at Bankstown, NSW on 16 September 1950. The aim of this Scholarship is to assist an AWPA member to obtain an Instructor or Command Instrument Rating, either fixed-wing or helicopter, in furtherance of a career in aviation.

In 1972 the late Maie Casey – Aviatrix, Charter Member and Patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association, gave $100.00 to a group of Victorian members with whom she was lunching. This was the time of the nearly forgotten Australian mining boom and The Lady Casey wanted these members to try their luck on the share market.

With the success of the shares, an idea was formed to provide a scholarship for members. Interest and/or dividends only are to be used for scholarship payments. With the fluctuating interest rates and share dividends paid to the fund, donations are welcome to enable the scholarship to continue well into the future.

AWPA Membership

The Association has members throughout Australia, aged from 16 to 90 years. They range from pre-solo students to commercial, airline and military pilots, some members having more than 20,000 hours.