Hunter Girls With A Mission program kicks off  

Hunter Girls With A Mission program kicks off  

RDA Hunter’s Girls With A Mission (GWAM) Program took off last week as a lead activity of the organisation’s long-running, Australian-government funded ME Program. 

Giving students the opportunity to engage with female leaders in STEM and aerospace, GWAM increases female awareness of aviation and engineering skills and careers in the local defence industry. 

It engages school students in a workshop program to help improve their technical knowledge in STEM and build enterprise skills like teamwork and communication. 

Delivered in partnership with the region’s Defence Industry, TAFE NSW Newcastle’s Aviation and Aerospace Department and the Luskintyre Aircraft Restoration, the workshop program saw students construct and test-fly a model aeroplane to complete a scenario-based aid mission.  

Industry representatives provided one-on-one mentorship to students during the activities, and engaged in conversations about their own career journeys so students could see what they can be. 

The program, which saw 45 students participate, comprised two separate one day workshops, one based at the Tighes Hill Campus, and the other in Luskintyre – which assisted Upper Hunter Schools access this exciting and informative opportunity. 

Day One at TAFE NSW Newcastle (Tighes Hill) Aviation Skills facility saw TAFE NSW teachers deliver the educational components of the activity and University of Newcastle Aerospace Engineering representatives guide students through the activities. 

The second workshop attracted Upper Hunter students to work with representatives from Luskintyre Aircraft Restoration to recreate historical models based on aircraft located in their hangar. 

RDA Hunter’s CEO and Director of Regional Development, Trevor John said the organisation’s ME Program, which is funded by Australia’s Department of Defence, has been linking Hunter schools and Hunter Defence Industry to help build a skilled future workforce since 2009. 

“We’ve been successful in inspiring students to study STEM subjects at school and higher education and consider careers in our local defence industry,” Trevor said. 

“Expanding Girls With A Mission into new schools across the Hunter is a great result for the program. We’re very pleased that GWAM remains a valuable and interesting activity for our partner schools and their students.  

“GWAM and activities like it are possible because of the unwavering support of our industry partners and partner schools who help us create and deliver programs that teach industry-relevant skills.”   

TAFE NSW Team Leader, Aviation and Aerospace Andrew Trease said the program gives students a practical, hands-on experience, using techniques and equipment that is used in the aviation industry today. 

“TAFE NSW prides itself on our relationships with local schools and employers in our region, and this program is an excellent example of organisations coming together to provide an extraordinary experience,” Andrew said. 

“We are actively engaging with industry all the time, to stay across the latest updates in skills needs, and to ensure we are providing quality training to meet the evolving trends and demand for workers in this space. 

“These students are gaining first-hand knowledge about working in the aviation industry, potentially sparking an interest in pursuing this as a career path, while also getting a foot in the door with important industry contacts.” 

IMAGE | Students honing the design as part of the Girls With A Mission(GWAM) program. Photo credit: Lewis Morley.  

RDA Hunter

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter is the key economic development organisation in the Hunter region. Led by a Committee of regional business and community representatives, RDA Hunter is supported by federal and state governments.
Established in 2009 they provide independent advice to all levels of government and our stakeholders on priorities for the Hunter's future.
RDA Hunter works to strengthen the Hunter as a competitive and modern metropolitan centre of excellence. It does this by securing funds for regionally significant infrastructure projects, providing effective connectivity between industry, education and the wider region economy and by driving investment to the Hunter region.

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