Claire Braund

NEGS Old Girl, Enid Esther Mather (nee L’Estrange – class of 1928), known as Esther, was a pioneer in female aviation within Australia.

In 1936, on her 26th birthday, Esther received her pilot’s licence after only two month’s instruction and in 1937 Esther became the first Queensland woman to receive her commercial pilot’s licence. From there, her aviation career took off.

Esther became the first woman to be captain of the Queensland Aerobatic Team and in February 1938 Esther represented the Queensland Royal Aero Club at an interstate competition held at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney, where she defeated her male rivals in aerobatics. She was regarded as ‘Australia’s champion lady aerobatic’’.

Esther’s achievements in aviation were recognised up until her death in 1998.
1968 – Esther was the first female awarded the Paul Tissandice Diploma by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (Paris) for services to Aviation.

1971 – Awarded the Nancy Bird trophy.

1975 – Made a Life Governor of the Peninsular Air Ambulance Service.

1995 – Made a Life Member of Australian Women Pilots’ Association.

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