Growing up under a flight path, Lucy Simkin always knew aviation would be in her future.
As a child, Ms Simkin built plastic models, enjoyed remote control aeroplanes and looked forward to the days when the late aerobatic pilot Peter ‘‘Pip’’ Borrman would practise above her house.
Ms Simkin’s passion and interest in flying led her to join the Goulburn Valley Aero Club at just 15 and she recently became the first female president.
When she first joined the club in 2009, Ms Simkin would snag the occasional joy flight and talk to the other members.
As her interest peaked, she started attending meetings, joining the committee as secretary in 2016.
‘‘I cannot speak highly enough of the people I met, the things I learned, and the amazing opportunities I was afforded,’’ Ms Simkin said.
‘‘At a time when I was working so hard to pay for my own flying lessons, the aero club community supported me as I grew and developed as a person and pilot.’’
Although she had no experience working as a secretary, Ms Simkin was keen to volunteer and give back to those who had given to her.
‘‘It was the best thing I ever did,’’ she said.
‘‘Now I could finally do something for the club I held so dear.
‘‘Serving as secretary, I slowly learned the ranks and issues facing the club’s future, working hard to find resolutions where I could.’’
After serving as secretary, Ms Simkin was delighted to step into the role of president with the departure of Andrew Clement, who had the role for seven years.
‘‘Having been so heavily involved with the aero club over the last few years, it was only natural I offer my hand at serving as president,’’ she said.
‘‘I was lucky enough that the aero club supported me in making this decision.’’
It was only as this year’s committee enjoyed a post annual meeting cup of tea, it was realised Ms Simkin was the first female president of the club in its 59-year history and on par for the youngest.
Aged 24, Ms Simkin said this year would be one of her biggest, breaking ground as the new president, finishing off her studies to achieve her flight instructor rating and gaining her formation flying endorsement.
Ms Simkin is looking forward to showcasing the club’s possibilities, with open days and fun flights, highlighting the fact people of all ages could be a part of the club.
‘‘It’s nice seeing young people taking an interest and doing the same sort of thing as me,’’ she said.
‘‘My dream for the GVAC into the future is to grow and flourish.
‘‘To engage with the young student pilots and afford them the opportunity to mingle with the wealth of knowledge we have in our current and retired pilots.
‘‘I also want to re-ignite our inter-club competitions, re-engage with the community and spread our love of aviation all over the city.’’
To learn more about the Goulburn Valley Aero Club, including events and general information, visit the club’s Facebook page.