Bundy girl takes flight in traffic control
AFTER seeing a news article about the Australian Defence Force’s gap year program in her senior year of school, Bundaberg’s Paige Starwick was motivated to join.
The Flight Lieutenant is now an accomplished air traffic controller working for the ADF at Darwin International Airport.
Presently studying a Bachelor of Economics degree, Flight Lt Starwick is an approach (radar) controller and a keen devotee of the F45 fitness training regime.
She’s also played AFL and touch football socially and in representative teams.
“I am the first member of my family to join the ADF,” she said.
“I saw a news article on the gap year program when I was in senior year and decided to apply for it. I was successful and completed the program in 2009.
“After I finished the gap year, I studied for a few years but ultimately missed the lifestyle, camaraderie and traditions associated with being in the Royal Australian Air Force and decided to rejoin as an air traffic controller.
“I completed the basic air traffic control course in 2013 and was posted to RAAF Base Williamtown for four years.
“There I gained my tower controller, training and supervisor endorsements and completed all of my air traffic control postgraduate courses.
“In 2018 I posted to Darwin as I wanted to learn to control busy civilian aircraft traffic to round out the experience I gained with fast jet military aircraft in Williamtown.”
In January 2019, Flight Lt Starwick was deployed to the Middle East in an operations role working with the C-130J Hercules detachment.
Since returning to Darwin, she has taken on training roles requiring her to train other air traffic controllers on Darwin operations.
“I am currently the unit aviation safety officer responsible for investigating safety events and recommending changes to procedures in order to minimise risk and maximise safety,” Flight Lt Starwick said.
“As we commemorate the formation of the RAAF 100 years ago, I feel that as an organisation, we have a lot to be proud of.
“Not only have we evolved to become an advanced, professional future force, but we have also created a culture which promotes diversity in representation and inclusion.”
Planning is underway for the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s formation in March 1921 and further information may be found at the website.