Our people

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Our people

The RAAF Base Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre reflects the enthusiasm and dedication that our team of men and women Reservists and volunteers have for military aviation history and particularly that history in south-east Queensland.

Every member of our team is involved in the research, restoration and display of the aircraft and items that make up our collection. When you visit our Centre, the same enthusiastic people will tell you about each display and the story behind it and we hope that these stories get passed on from generation to generation to preserve our military aviation history. 

Please meet some of those people!


Reservists

Wing Commander Clive Wells - Officer in Charge RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

20150917Raaf8163580 JPG Wing Commander Clive Wells Sml    

Clive joined the Air Force in 1974 serving in various units throughout Australia and overseas. Transferring to the Active Reserve in 2014, he is currently the of Officer in Charge of the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre.

Clive has a keen interest in the preservation of military history and enhancing visitor experiences. He holds a Master of Museum Studies, is certified in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology (Level 1), and is studying towards a PhD in Dark Tourism, with an emphasis on the Vietnam War.

 

 

Warrant Officer David Caughley - Officer in Charge Aircraft Restoration 

WOFF David Caughley

Sergeant Judy Rodwell – Administration

A Gold Coaster, Judy has been an Active Reservist since 2001. Before that she spent 10 years in the Permanent Air Force. She joined the Reserve as she loved the camaraderie of military life. She loves working at the Heritage Centre because of the great volunteers.

“I am amazed by the diversity of their backgrounds and their knowledge of military aviation and RAAF Amberley,” she said.

What does it mean to her to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“It means I can continue to be part of the military and can work with a wonderful group of people and really enjoy the visits enjoyment and amazement at how fantastic the Heritage Centre displays are.”

Volunteers

Glenn Oldham

Originally from Geelong, Glenn served in the RAAF from March 1977 to March 1986. He was a RAAF photographer and later a medical photographer at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. This experience is of great benefit to the RAAHC as Glenn is currently cataloguing the various media in the Centre’s collection. He really enjoys meeting the many interesting people who visit the Centre who have worked on the various aircraft in the collection. 

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“I am immensely proud to contribute to the effort to document and publicise the history of the RAAF.”

Warren Martens

Hailing from Nanango, Warren served in the RAAF for many years, both as a permanent member and as a Reservist. He enjoys meeting veterans of the various wars through his work at the Heritage Centre.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“It is the best men’s shed in south-east Queensland. I enjoy working with like-minded people in an environment similar to the one I experienced when in the RAAF.”

Tom Mills

Now an Ipswich local, Tom served in the RAAF from August 1964 to February 1981 before a long career in the Australian Public Service, working within the Department of Defence as a Quality Auditor. His experience in Defence has led him to supporting the Heritage Centre’s display section as well as the technical library. He is enjoying the challenge of helping establish the Heritage Centre’s technical library while at the same time meeting like-minded people.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“Being part of the RAAFAAHC enable me to play my part in not only helping retain the history Defence, but also help in passing this history to the community.”

Conrad Guse

Conrad is from Ipswich so volunteering at the Heritage Centre is ideal for him! Having served in the Royal Australian Navy, Citizen Air Force (the pre-cursor to the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve) and the RAAF, Conrad is truly passionate about aeroplanes. His love of aircraft began in 1937 when he saw one flying low of his family’s farm. It was a Dragonfly. He has collected aviation books and magazines since January 1942 and he has donated most of those to the Heritage Centre for future generations to enjoy.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“It is a joy to be involved with everyone at the Centre. The professionalism and dedication of the team who are restoring the planes, and to be in contact with my beloved aeroplanes, means so much to me. The sight and sound of the planes still fascinates me.”

Noeline Johnson

Being from Brassall, Noeline is a local, and always keen to help at the Heritage Centre. Having held many positions throughout her career, ranging from working in the banking sector through to being a pre-school aide, Noeline’s skills are of great benefit to the centre. She loves the challenge of working at the Centre, especially using her data processing and accounting skills.

What does it mean to her to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“Working as a team for the same outcome is our focus at the Centre.”

Greg Lawson

Originally from Adelaide, Greg is now a local and keenly uses his skills in machining and welding at the Heritage Centre. He served for six years in the Army Reserve so his military experience and understanding is of benefit to the Centre. He loves being involved in the Centre, especially the support and compassion of his fellow volunteers.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“I appreciate the companionship and mateship of my colleagues at the Centre.”

Rodney “Smokey” Dawson

Rodney’s hometown is Glen Innis, but today he calls Ipswich home. Rodney began his military service during the Vietnam War and now considers himself a ‘worker’ at the RAAFAAHC. He loves the people he works with at the Heritage Centre and is a great bloke.

James Topping

Serving in the Air Force for 20 years and now living in Ipswich, James has a vast array of experience with aircraft.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

“Being part of a BIG men’s shed is great. I love getting old gear working again.”

Max Johnson - Restoration Hangar

Serving in the RAAF from 1967 to 1990, former Warrant Officer Max Johnson knows all the ins and outs of aircraft, small arms, cannons, missiles and aircrew escape systems. He also has operational experience, noting tours of duty in Vietnam and Malaysia. Now living in Brisbane, Max is regularly at the Heritage Centre and is currently restoring the Canberra ejection seats and aircraft cannons.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"I am enjoying the opportunity to continue working on aircraft and equipment."

John Payne

John is from Walloon, Ipswich and served in the ADF for 10 years from 1964 to 1974. He likes to work on aircraft, so volunteering at the Heritage Centre is a great fit for him. His best experience so far has been 'painting a Huey over Easter and making a heap of metal into an aircraft'.

Peter Hauck - Restoration

After serving in the RAAF for 23 years after joining as an engine fitter, Peter brings a wealth of experience to the Heritage Centre. 

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"It gives me the opportunity to work with like-minded and trained people."

Geoff Price

Geoff has served in the Permanent Air Force (1969-1999), the RAAF Reserve and even had a stint as Air Force Cadet from 1965 to 1969! He was involved in many roles during his Air Force career but found his most rewarding experiences were working as part of an aircraft servicing team. Geoff is currently a team member working on the Canberra refurbishment, undertaking a wide variety of tasks from trim replacement to aircraft metal work.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"Like my colleagues, I feel I have something to offer. The majority of our members were at the top of their chosen field on discharge and I believe all those years of experience should not be lost. We use our skills daily."

Bob Pilkington

Bob served in the RAAF for 21 years and is currently part of the Canberra restoration team.

John Lazenby

Now living in Ipswich, John is a retired marine engineer with 10 years of sea time in various plant engineering positions prior to his retirement in 2010. Volunteering at the Heritage Centre has been his first involvement with aircraft and he finds it very interesting. He volunteered after seeing an advertisement in the Queensland Times newspaper.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"It is like a big men's shed. Being part of a team of highly-skilled workers producing first class restored aircraft for display is so rewarding."

Geoff Rowbotham

Geoff calls Ipswich's Ripley Valley home, but you get the feeling that the Heritage Centre is his 'home away from home'. Geoff served in the Australian Army from 1958 to 1984, progressing through the ranks from Private to Major. He has a wealth of experience and is using this to develop and enhance the Heritage Centre. Highlights of his work at the Heritage Centre include helping establish the displays in hangars 280 and 279, especially the Darwin display and the No. 23 Squadron display, being chosen to attend the Museum Curators Course at the Australian War Memorial and being part of the Centre's display team at the RAAF Pearce Air Show.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"I derive pleasure each day from the company, rapport and camaraderie of my fellow workers at the Heritage Centre."

George Hartley

George joined the Air Force in 1969 as a clerk supply and discharged in 1975. He then joined the Army and later discharged in 1986. George, through his military and civilian experiences, has a vast knowledge of warehousing and logistics and also drives many of our heavy lift machinery as well as the Centre's bus on open days.

What does it mean to him to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"Being able to help preserve Air Force Heritage is very rewarding to me and I enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow volunteers."

Cheryl Hartley

Cheryl has a vast knowledge of accounts and administration management. She manages the loan register of museum memorabilia and also undertakes stock recording, general warehousing and logistics duties.

What does it mean to her to be part of the RAAFAAHC?

"I have never served in the military but am very proud to be a part of preserving our Air Force heritage and enjoy the companionship of my fellow volunteers."

 

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