• Murri School students flying high after RAAF Base Amberley tour

    March 17, 2021

    It’s not every day you get to sit in the cockpit of a C-27J Spartan at RAAF Base Amberley, but that was the reality for some lucky students from the Murri School in Acacia Ridge, Brisbane’s south.

    Up to 20 senior students and staff from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander independent community school recently toured multiple Squadrons at RAAF Base Amberley, thanks to a RAAF escort from No. 23 Squadron and legwork by both Boeing Defence Australia and the company’s Amberley Indigenous Liaison Officers.

    The tour included Squadron presentations, informal career presentations by a C-17A Globemaster III pilot and two Spartan pilots and a meet-and-greet with RAAF military working dogs and their handlers.

    BDA’s newly launched second RAP, Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-2022 sees the company committed to building meaningful relationships with individuals, communities and suppliers to improve the education and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    “The Murri School’s RAAF Base Amberley tour was a potentially life-changing experience for the students,” said the BDA RAP Working Group’s Thomas Kelly.

    “The goal of this tour was to create some visibility around Defence and BDA career pathways. I’m confident the students left with a much greater understanding of the RAAF, Boeing, aerospace and the defence industry as a whole.”

    Kim Peyton-Smith, a Murri School secondary teacher, was ecstatic about the Amberley tour.

    “It was non-stop authentic learning experience that was informative, mind-opening and inspiring,” Peyton-Smith said.

    And the last word must go to the excited students themselves. 

    Dereece, 16: “I had an excellent experience. The staff were friendly. I could see how hard everyone works. My favourite part was watching the jets.”

    Zane, 16: “I’d like to personally thank the staff for letting us visit the Base and taking us onto the planes. I learnt more than I thought was possible. I mostly enjoyed being in the cockpit and imagining myself flying the plane.”

    Thomas, 15: “The trip to Amberley was an interesting experience. It has made me consider undertaking a role in the RAAF. I really enjoyed the stories told by the C-17 pilot.”