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  • Anonymous 12 Aug 2010 at 12:26
    Evelyn Follett was the third not the first woman pilot in Australia, 17/8/27 not 1926, Licence No.109.First was Millicent Bryant 23/3/27 No.71 and second was Margaret Reardon 17/8/27 No.98. I have written a book "First Females Above Australia" and have a passion for aviation history. Was 1st woman helicopter pilot in Australia1965.
  • Anonymous 12 Aug 2010 at 12:39
    Another correction to this article: there were 31 licensed women pilots in Australia by November 1930 and the date of this article is 2/101954. I have no record of how many there were in the Aero Club of NSW's first 21 years but there must have been hundreds. Australian Women Pilots' Assoc was formed in 1950 and women had been actively flying since1927 in Australia. It did take this particular Aero Club one full year to allow women to become members and learn to fly. First to apply in 1926 were Millicent Bryant and Evelyn Follett who then attained their licences on 23/3/27 and 17/8/27 respectively. Another woman, Margaret Reardon got her licence on 17/8/27, same day as Evelyn.

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[Aero Oub's ^Coming Of Age" Party]

Few Women Fliers Trained

During 21 Years


An aerial display at Banks- town on October 11 will com- memorate the "coming of age" of the Royal Aero Club of New South Wales-the conclusion of 21 years of (lying during which time 658 men,, but only 31 women, have obtained their lic- ences as pilots.

, After winning their primary "A"

licences, five of these few women went on to receive their commercial licences. They were Misses Phyllis Arnott, Nancy Bird, Peggy Mc Killop, Gwen Stark and Nancy Ellis.

The first woman in Australia to receive her licence-in 1926-was a member of the Club. She was Miss Evelyn Follett who was so small that she was obliged to sit on a cushion while flying one of

the Club's two Cirrus moths. Miss., Follett served with the W.A.A.A.F. during the. war and became well known to hundreds of Waaafs who met her in her position as wel- fare officer for the service at the R.T.O. at Central Station.


Only Miss Nancy Edwards was a smaller pilot than Miss Follett-she never went up without 3 or 4 cush- ions to sit upon.

The unprecedented happened

when Miss Phyllis Arnott took out her commercial licence, but she has not carried on her flying. She is at present a secretary with a city news-


Perhaps Australia's best-known airwoman was Nancy Bird, now Mrs Charles Walton, of Pymble, and the

^nothcr of two children. In 1933

at the age of 17 years, she obtained

her "A" and advanced "A" licences and two years later, at the age limit of 19 years, she received her com- mercial licence.

The First Ladies' Flying Tour was arranged in 1935 by Mrs. Walton and Miss Peggy Mckillop, who is now Mrs. Colin Kelman, of Moree. These two flew approximately 22,000 miles around Australia.

\yhile winning the Ladies' Trophy

in the Brisbane to Adelaide Air Race in 1936. Mrs. Walton recorded the greatest speed of all 31 starters on the route from Melbourne to Ade- laide.

At the end of 1944, Mrs. Walton retired from her position as Aus- tralian commandant of the Women's Air Training Corps.

Miss Gwen Stark, another holder of a commercial licence is at pres- ent in England on a vacation from her farm at Bowral. At the end of the war she retired from the W.A.A.A.F. as a wing-officer and staff officer at No. 2 Training Group Headquarters.

A more recently trained pilot is Miss Nancy Ellis, one of six active women members of the Aeco Club.

But the first women to be asso- ciated with the Aero Clyb were not airwomen-they were the wives of the airmen who every week-end, in one corner of the hangar, pre- pared afternoon tea for the fliers.

They included Mesdames H. D. Arnott, Geoffrey Hughes, Garnet Malley, S. L. Tyler, G. N. Mills. Bunny Hammond, George Hartman, Hal Lockley, Milton Kent, and Miss Vidal, sister of Mrs. Hughes.


HALLORAN, three membeis of the social committee of the Royal Aero Club of N.S.W., who had a lunch-hour . meetinq in Hyde Park to discuss arrangements for the

club's birthday party on October 11. The party, whidh ibill be-held at the club house at Mascot, will follow the aerial

display at Bankstown.

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