One gi­ant leap for Le­gacy

Women’s ad­ven­ture group jumps on adren­a­line trip

The Queensland Times - - LIFE - Ea­mon Hamil­ton

THE air­drop tal­ents of No. 36 Squadron have raised more than $30,000 for Le­gacy, and drawn at­ten­tion for women in avi­a­tion.

On Novem­ber 2, a C-17A from 36SQN car­ried 83 fe­male sky­divers for the Women in Ad­ven­ture Sports ini­tia­tive, mak­ing two drops to RAAF Base Am­ber­ley.

Two days later, a C-17A de­liv­ered about 200 sky­divers to Too­goolawah drop zone, north­west of Ip­swich.

Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing No. 86 Wing GPCAPT Adam Wil­liams said sky­divers do­nated money to Le­gacy for the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the jump.

“This is our sec­ond year part­ner­ing with the sky­div­ing com­mu­nity to sup­port Le­gacy with a C-17A event,” GPCAPT Wil­liams said.

“It’s al­lowed us to bring at­ten­tion to the work con­ducted by this or­gan­i­sa­tion, and raise money in sup­port of its char­ity work.”

The Le­gacy jump on Novem­ber 4 also pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for five Le­gacy youths to make a rare jump from a C-17A.

Le­gacy youth am­bas­sador Bri­anna An­der­son lost her fa­ther in 2014, and said the jump of­fered an insight into his ex­pe­ri­ences.

“One of my dad’s favourite things to do when he was in the Spe­cial Air Ser­vice was parachut­ing,” she said. “I felt ner­vous and ex­cited, and ab­so­lutely thrilled to be able to jump out of a C-17A.

“The ex­hil­a­ra­tion and rush I felt was phe­nom­e­nal, and I can now see why my dad loved jump­ing out of ‘per­fectly good aero­planes’.”

For an ul­ti­mate ‘bucket list’ item, Ms An­der­son said she couldn’t con­tain her ex­cite­ment when she was cho­sen as one of five Le­gacy Bris­bane youth lead­ers to par­tic­i­pate in the event.

“I am so grate­ful for this on­cein-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the RAAF, GPCAPT Adam Wil­liams, Le­gacy Bris­bane, Ip­swich Le­gacy, Ram­blers Sky­divers and to ev­ery­one else who made this in­cred­i­ble day pos­si­ble,” Ms An­der­son said.

GPCAPT Wil­liams said sup­port­ing the Women in Ad­ven­ture Sports pro­gram had al­lowed “us to show­case the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to women in avi­a­tion, whether that be with a ca­reer or through their pas­time”.

Women make up about half of all first-time sky­divers, but on aver­age only about 14% of those take it up as a sport.

The Aus­tralian Parachut­ing Fed­er­a­tion is seek­ing to shift this im­bal­ance, as parachut­ing is one of the few sports where men and women are able to com­pete on equal foot­ing.

PHOTOS: CPL BEN DEMPSTER

TIME TO FLY: Fe­male sky­divers from the Women in Ad­ven­ture Sports pro­gram jump out of a No 36 Squadron C-17A Globe­mas­ter air­craft above RAAF Base Am­ber­ley. (inset) Group Cap­tain Adam Wil­liams with Bris­bane Le­gacy Youth Am­bas­sador Bri­anna An­der­son.

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