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Gaby Kennard OAM

In 1989, Gaby Kennard was the first Australian woman to fly solo around the world.

Honour Roll

Growing up in the 1950s in Australia, Gaby Kennard was fascinated by the story of Amelia Earhart's journeys and disappearance on a world flight in 1937. Whenever she travelled on planes she loved the sensation, however it was not until she was a single mother of 34 years that she decided to pursue her passion seriously.

She began lessons and gained a private license at the South Coast Aero Club, New South Wales in 1979. Her second husband, Nev, helped her gain a commercial license in 1984, a multi-engine command instrument rating in 1985 and a seaplane license in 1987. Unfortunately, during the next two years her marriage broke down and with two young children and no spare money it seemed that her dream of flying around the world would never come to fruition.

However, Gaby persevered and in 1989 took off for a 99-day trip full of adventure. She endured instrument malfunctions, electrical storms, bureaucratic nightmares and engine failures, but through it all there were great rewards as well. She received a royal welcome in Atchison, Kansas, the home of Amelia Earhart, support from other female flyers and the satisfaction of achieving her lifetime goal.