I am a PG5 rated paraglider pilot with in excess of 700 hours paragliding experience. I have been flying paragliders for 11 years, earning my license in France and converting it in Australia with Fly Manilla soon after.
My novice years were spent on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, learning to fly coastal under the watchful eye of Sandy Thomson and being nurtured by the NBHGC to the point where I stepped up to contribute back to the club as Safety Officer, Secretary and finally President in 2014-16. Having moved to Bright in 2017, I am now the President of the NEVHGC.
I have also been actively pursuing cross country flying, making many trips over the years to Manilla, Bright, Canungra and the Hunter Valley. Additionally, my hunger for XC has pushed me to explore the paragliding scene in the US, with extended work stints in California and Colorado permitting me to expand my flying in these areas.
I have been competing in the Australian National Competitions since 2013 and, under the recent tutelage of the Australian Paragliding Squad, I attained the overall national rank of 24 in 2018. I have competed in a few overseas competitions in the USA and New Zealand and my WPRS rank was 480 Overall, 26 in the Women’s in 2018. Having suffered an injury in late 2018, my competition ranking took a back seat to recovery last season. However, having tasted world level competition at the 2018 Bright PWC, I have aspirations to continue to compete at the world level and have redesigned my lifestyle to allow this to happen.
My tenacity in chasing a lifestyle that allowed me to embrace my passions (paragliding and tiny houses) has rewarded me with the luxury of time to devote to projects that I am interested in. One of those is encouraging women in paragliding, and the other is developing a more inclusive nature in our community.
In conjunction with my flying experience, I have also been proactively contributing to the paragliding community through other channels, namely writing and podcasting. Whilst I am passionate about a range of topics, including the value of competitions and dealing with fear in flying, I am most passionate about encouraging more women to progress in paragliding. My views on this stray a little from those more traditional, however through promotion of my views on social media (including some push back from many women) I have settled on an approach that seems to bring women on board and get them engaged and keen to progress.
I do believe that having a Women’s Class in competitions alongside other handicap categories sends the false message that being a woman in paragliding is a handicap also and so their performance is expected to be less. However, the Women’s Class category also surfaces much needed visibility of women performing well and is effective in encouraging other women to compete.