As a school named after a famous Australian aviator, we have continued this theme into other aspects of our school program.
Walton House - Green
Nancy-Bird Walton was born in Kew NSW on the 16th of October, 1915. From an early age Nancy was committed to flying. While working in her father's shop she saved enough money to train as a pilot. At 19 years of age Nancy gained her commercial licence and shortly after purchased a Gypsy Moth aircraft. For several years Nancy and friend made their living "barnstorming" Western NSW and Queensland. Nancy purchased a larger aircraft and used it to ferry medical staff to remote settlements and bring the sick or injured to hospital. Nancy served as an officer in the Woman's Air Training Corps during the Second World War and remained a vocal supporter and role model for women in m any areas of the aviation industry. QANTAS have named their first Airbus A380 "Nancy-Bird Walton" to honour this aviation pioneer. Nancy died in January of this year.
Hinkler House - Purple
"Bert" Hinkler was born in Bundaberg, Queensland on the 8th of December 1892. Hinkler built and flew gliders on the beach near his home and left Australia to work at the Sopwith Aviation company. During the First World War, Bert served with the Royal Naval Air Service and flew as a pilot with the RAF. Bert attempted to win the 10,000 pound prize for the first aviators to fly from England to Australia but was forced down in a storm. In February 1928 Bert Hinkler became the first person to fly solo from England to Australia. Hinkler completed many other aviation firsts. One of his more notable achievements was to fly solo from Canada to Brazil, cross the South Atlantic ocean and then fly up Africa to London. In achieving this feat, Hinkler became only the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. In a 1934 attempt to break the record for flights from England to Australia, Hinkler crashed in Italy. When his body was recovered, he was buried in Florence with full military honours.
Middleton House - Yellow
Rawdon Hume Middleton VC, was born in Waverley, NSW on the 22nd of July 1916. A keen sports person, Middleton worked as a jackaroo before enlisting in the RAAF in 1940. After his flight training Middleton served with RAF 149 Squadron, flying Stirling bombers. On the last mission of his tour of duty, Middleton was critically wounded on a raid on Turin, Italy. Despite his injuries, Middleton was able to pilot his aircraft back towards its base in England. Once over the English channel, the crew were able to evacuate the aircraft, while Middleton kept control. Shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed into the sea. For his valour, Middleton was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain and Australia's highest award for gallantry.
Waters House - Red
Len Waters was born at Boomi, NSW on the 29th of June 1924. As many indigenous Australians did, Len joined the RAAF when Australia was threated with invasion during World War Two. Len trained as a mechanic and requested a transfer to pilot training during 1943. Despite the fact that Aboriginal Australians were barred from being pilots, the threat from Japan was so great that this objection was over-ruled. Len Waters served with No. 78 Fighter squadron in New Guinea and rose through the ranks to lead other airmen into battle. When the war ended Len had been promoted to Warrant Officer. A noted athlete, Len Waters was the RAAF Middleweight boxing champion. After the war,Len attempted to obtain his commercial pilot's licence, but was refused because of prevailing attitudes towards indigenous Australians. Len never flew again after he left the RAAF. Len Waters died in Cunnamulla, Queensland in 1993.