Career Choice Day 2009
Around 30 students met at the Jet Base security point before being bussed across the tarmac to one of the maintenance hangars. After a safety briefing, the students had the opportunity to meet cabin crew and aircraft engineering apprentices and learn about working on both the inside and the outside of the plane.
The students were then escorted into the hangar and spent some time walking through an Airbus A330-300 aircraft that was 'in the shop' for routine maintenance. For many, this was the first time that they had been on a plane, or even close to one, and the excitement in the air was certainly infectious to all the Qantas people that were there to ensure everyone learnt as much as they could. From seeing how tea and coffee was made in the galleys, to learning how to move a business class seat and checking out how much an overhead locker could hold - there were endless new experiences for all aboard the aircraft.
Former Qantas engineering apprentice Marissa Madden, now an Avionics Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, spent some time explaining her job on the tools to some of the students and said the day had been a highlight. "It is a fantastic opportunity to share a passion of mine with people who usually don't get to do these sorts of things and it's just a fantastic experience to be a part of it," she said.
In the front of the plane, First Officer Alex McDarmont was kept busy explaining how an aircraft gets off the ground to Year 10 girls Rebecca Riley and Tori Morgan - who joined him in the cockpit and had 101 questions about flying. "I have never seen anything like this before, planes are so interesting and I haven't been so close before, it's such a cool job," Tori said.
Alex also spent some time in the main cabin helping Customer Service Manager Margaret Colbeck field some tough questions that came thick and fast, such as "What's turbulence?", "How do you get to be a flight attendant?" and "Where does this plane fly to most of the time?"
Qantas Foundation Chief Exectuive Shirley Davies said this year was Qantas' first time hosting a Careers Choice Day, and it was one of the most successful days ever in the history of the program. "The feedback we have received from the school is that the kids were overwhelmed with excitement to actually get onboard one of the planes, and the Qantas Foundation is really proud that we were able to make that happen for this particular group of students and give them an experience that is even a rare treat for most people, let alone a group of students who, for one reason or another, would have had limited experiences outside of school or their neighbourhood."
The highlights of the day were broadcast on October's Welcome Aboard inflight program on Qantas flights, including interviews with the students while in the hangar.