Alumni Profiles



  • 1970

  • 1973


I was born in the Melbourne southern suburb of Chelsea in 1950, but lived in Mordialloc whilst gaining secondary education at Aspendale Technical School. This was followed by two years working in a bank in the Frankston/Mt Eliza area, while serving with 2 Commando Company (CMF), initially at Ripponlea and then at Williamstown.


In 1970 I joined the Regular Army under RAEME’s Army Adult Trade Training Scheme to train as a radar mechanic. In November ’71 I was posted to 3 Base Workshops Broadmeadows, before being accepted to attend OCS in 1973 and attending the overflow class at Scheyville.

On graduation I was posted back to Broadmeadows as the EME at 32 Supply Battalion, before successfully applying for flying training in 1976, gaining “wings” on the Kiowa in June ’77. I was posted as a line pilot to 161 Recce Sqn at Holsworthy until January ’81, then as a Troop Commander to 171 Comd & Liaison Sqn at Oakey.

In November ’81 I parted ways with the military to pursue a career in commercial helicopter flying, and went on to become the longest serving pilot with the infamous John Friedrich and the National Safety Council of Australia (Victorian Division) [NSCA], until it collapsed in spectacular fashion in ’89. During my time with the NSCA I also served as an Army Reserve helicopter pilot with 1 Avn Regt. Here I was fortunate to fly for a couple of episodes of The Bush Tuckerman series with Les Hiddins.

Following the collapse of the NSCA in ’89 I re-joined the Army as a Specialist Service Officer and trained on the Blackhawk, before being employed as a line pilot with A Sqn, 5 Avn Regt until 1991. Unfortunately during this time I was bitten by the “black dog”, was grounded from flying, and medically discharged from the military.

Following a long, drawn out process, I finally regained my civilian pilots’ licence in ’97 followed by employment flying month on/month off with Pacific Helicopters in PNG in ’98. After 12 months with Pacific we had a not so amicable “parting of the ways” when the company tried to screw the widow of a deceased pilot out of her insurance entitlements, and I began seeking employment elsewhere in the industry. Around this time I also had a parting of the ways from my first marriage.

Whilst seeking employment worldwide I met Suzanne, a teacher, and we were married ten months later. Suzanne had a heart for China, so I gave flying away and we headed for Hong Kong where Suzanne taught for four years in a high school, followed by four years at the medical college of a university in Mainland China. Because I was only on a spouse visa and couldn’t work I became involved in voluntary orphanage work during this time.

We returned from China in August ’09 with a Chinese daughter, Deborah, and have been travelling Australia in our 5th wheeler motorhome since February ’10. I have three children and three grandchildren, and Suzanne four children and six grandchildren from our previous marriages, all located in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Ipswich, Bundaberg and Cairns.