Aviation scholarship enhances exceptional focus on safety

The inaugural winner of the Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety, Lucy Mitchell.,  Lucy is sitting on the seat in memory of controller Jilly Murphy at the base of the Christchurch Airport control tower

The inaugural winner of the Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety, Lucy Mitchell., Lucy is sitting on the seat in memory of controller Jilly Murphy at the base of the Christchurch Airport control tower

"Go for it" is the answer you'll get from the inaugural winner of the Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety, if you ask for her advice for this year's entrants.

Lucy Mitchell's career commitment to understanding human factors involved in aviation safety led to her scholarship award earlier this year.  Lucy has put the scholarship prize
of $5000 towards the Master of Science in Ergonomics and Human Factors she is completing in her spare time, while working at Airways New Zealand.

"My study through the scholarship has a direct relationship to my work as an air traffic controller at Airways. I'm applying my learning every day on the job and introducing international ideas from my peers on the course," says Lucy.

"The focus of the scholarship is to enhance aviation safety, so I'm transferring my experience to Airways, with a real focus on overall aviation safety," she says.

Lucy spends half of her time as an air traffic controller and the other half as Airways' Safety Improvement Coordinator - a new position. 

"I love this role. I spend my time looking at the whole system and at ways we can make it even safer than it is already, hunting for ideas, working with customers and other Air Navigation Service Providers). My study is giving me even more determination to deliver this focus on operational safety," says Lucy.

The 2015 Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety applications have just opened.  Lucy says applicants should be enthusiastic and have a passion for whichever area of aviation safety interests them.

"I was a bit hesitant to start with. I wasn't sure how applicable it would be to me, so I'd suggest that even if you're not sure, you should apply and include a clear plan for how you would use the funding.  There is a huge variety of ways to enhance aviation safety, which is the legacy which Jilly Murphy has left through this scholarship," she says.

The scholarship, offered jointly by Airways and Christchurch Airport, is provided in memory of Jilly Murphy, an air traffic controller at the Christchurch Airways tower, who died in central Christchurch during the earthquake of 22 February, 2011.

Applications are open until 18 December 2014.

To apply, please download and complete the application form.

For further information please contact:

philippa.sellens@airways.co.nz or yvonne.densem@cial.co.nz

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