AMplify: Episode 16, Trailblazers Talks live – Gaby Kenndard

By: Alice Gage, Category: At The Museum, Date: 27 Jul 2016

Aviator Gaby Kennard recorded live at the Australian Museum as part of the Trailblazers Talks series presented by Australian Geographic.

Gaby Kennard landing in Sydney, 10 November 1989

Gaby Kennard landing in Sydney, 10 November 1989
Photographer:  © Gaby Kennard

Inspired by her childhood hero Amelia Earhart, Gaby Kennard became the first Australian woman to fly solo around the world. In doing so, she proved that it’s possible for an ‘ordinary’ single mother of two to fulfil her dream.

"If I could make this dream a reality, which seemed very difficult considering I had no aeroplane, no money, a single mother with two children...If I could actually make this happen, other people would say 'if she can do that, I can do what I want’, and that was a very strong thing in me, I felt very strongly about it."

On 3 August 1989, Kennard climbed into her single-engined Piper Saratoga, specially equipped with long-range fuel tanks, a life raft and emergency rations. A twin-engined plane would have been safer, but this model was all she could afford.

Over the next 99 days of her record flight, she faced equipment malfunctions, terrible loneliness and crippling bureaucracy. But inspired by Amelia Earhart and an extraordinary group of female pilots worldwide, she completed the 54,000-kilometre flight.

Subscribe to Podcast