You might spot the pilot of your next flight wearing a touch of pink.
From 15 October, Qantas and QantasLink pilots, cabin crew and ground staff will don special epaulettes, pins, ribbons and badges to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Movember as part of the annual FlyPink initiative.
FlyPink was launched by QantasLink Captain Susan McHaffie in 2015 to raise money for breast cancer research.
Since its launch, the initiative has expanded worldwide and McHaffie has raised an estimated $500,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, sending epaulettes to 135 operators in more than 30 countries.
This year, FlyPink will also raise funds for Movember, with a stylish moustache added to the designs.
“Epaulettes are very personal to pilots, we spend a lot of time earning our wings, so I thought it would be nice to do pink ones,” says McHaffie.
“Everyone knows someone who has been through breast cancer. I’ve had stories sent to me from around the world, with people sharing their own experiences. So many people feel so connected to it.”
In fact, starting the initiative encouraged McHaffie to go for a screening in 2016, in which she discovered she had stage one, early-onset breast cancer.
“I thought it would be testing fate if I didn’t get screened and sure enough, I had breast cancer,” she says. McHaffie feels fortunate to have been treated early.
“I’m lucky because I had the support of the people I work with and my friends who helped me through.”
FlyPink runs from 15 October to 15 November. You can make a donation at flypink.net.