The Recipient of the 2017 Roger Connellan Award

The Chairman of the Connellan Airways Trust, Mr. Gavin Carpenter OAM, today announced Mr. Jo Murphy to be the winner of the 2017 inaugural Roger Connellan Award for Excellence in Aviation. He will receive $10,000.

Jo is a resident of Alice Springs, is a qualified optometrist and has 3 years’ experience in providing optometry services in remote locations. His goal is to be a flying optometrist who provides high quality primary eye care to people who live in remote and rural locations of Australia.

He obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 2013 and with this award intends to obtain a Private Instrument Flight Rating (PIFR) and Night Endorsement so that he can conduct his remote area flying with increased skill and precision.

Jo said “having a consistent optometrist who can provide a regular and high quality general optometry service as well as specialty contact lenses for medical conditions will reduce the need for people in remote communities to travel to major centres. A regular, long term optometrist is also likely to lead to better eye health outcomes for those with chronic disease or cultural and language differences, who may otherwise not be comfortable seeing a different health professional each time”.

Mr Carpenter said “the Trust is excited that it received such a great response from worthy applicants for this inaugural award, coming from all over Australia. Jo’s vision for better health care outcomes stands with the Trust in supporting people from the Outback. His dedication to aviation honours the memory of Roger Connellan”.

The Award is in memory of Eddie Connellan’s son Roger Connellan. Roger was a bush pilot who rose to Chief Check and Training Captain of Connair when they employed 120 commercial pilots and helped establish the Alice Springs Aero Club in 1964.

The Award aims to give the opportunity, by the provision of financial support to people living in Outback Australia for skill development in an aviation related field excluding initial licensing. Since the Alice Springs based Trust commenced in 1981, it has been able to provide more than $3 million to the residents of the Outback.

The Connellan Airways Trust will fund the Roger Connellan Award again next year, with applications closing on 15 August 2018.

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