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Introducing Our New AOPA Australia Communications Team

Introducing Our New AOPA Australia Communications Team

Introducing Our New AOPA Australia Communications Team

February 16, 2019 By Benjamin Morgan
AOPA Australia would like to introduce our new communcations team, who will be responsible for delivering a knock-out year of news, reviews, test-flights, feature editorials, opinion peices and much more. ...

AOPA Australia would like to introduce our new communcations team, who will be responsible for delivering a knock-out year of news, reviews, test-flights, feature editorials, opinion peices and much more.  No longer will our members have to wait two months to receive updates on all the latest and greatest, as we now transition to regular weekly publishing online.

Kreisha Ballantyne

Kreisha’s experience across various sectors of the aviation industry reflect her passion for general aviation.  In previous editorial roles at AOPA Australian Pilot, Sport Pilot and AirSport, Kreisha has had the privilege of flying in – and writing about -a multitude of aircraft types, from a powered parachute to a PC12. Kreisha is currently a feature writer for Australian Flying magazine, as well as CASA’s Flight Safety Australia.  As a private pilot, Kreisha has experienced an incredible array of aviation adventures, including flying solo across Australia in heels and lipstick to influence young female pilots; wing-walking on a vintage Stearman; flying in New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Austria; and interviewing a diverse and incredible cross-section of aviators.  Now in her tenth year in the industry, she is delighted to continue her passion for writing about aviation as one of AOPA’s new digital editors.

Nicholas Christie

Nicholas started flying lessons at the age of 13. He holds both Grade 2 (GA) and RAAus Flight Instructor ratings.  Since graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor Business Management (Marketing), he has held various sales, marketing and management positions across a broad range of sectors. Nicholas has written for a variety of aviation magazines in Australia and currently runs his own aviation businesses.  In 2016, Nicholas took on the challenge of building a “slow build” Van’s RV-12, at Tyabb (Victoria) and he has since become an active member of SAAA, AOPA and RAAus.  Nicholas believes that the passion and involvement of people (especially youth) in the aviation community is key to the sector’s future success in Australia and that minimal government regulation will assist in the industry’s continued growth and success.

Stuart Hills 

Stuart gained his commercial pilots’ licence in 1992 and has flown in a variety of positions since that time.
Most notably however is his commitment and unremitting work in the business development and marketing of aerospace and aviation organisations since 2002. Stuarts roles have been within companies specialising in aerospace distribution, aerospace surface treatments, structural adhesives, maintenance and repair and avionics.

Chris Smythe

Chris is a highly-experienced media professional and is passionate about aviation, digital-media and technology. Chris produced the ABC’s Insiders and Chaser programs and was part of the team that developed the ABC’s first iView service. He went on to become ABC Director, Northern Territory. Recently, Chris founded tech start-up Inflighto which develops innovative moving-map apps for airline passengers. Chris is a published author and a member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.  Chris achieved his GA Private Pilot’s licence in 2006 and has flown extensively throughout NSW, the NT and WA. He is endorsed on the Cessna 172, 182 and the Cirrus SR20. He has recently enjoyed flights in a Pitts Special, a Harvard/Wirrway warbird, a Pilatus PC-12 and a King Air. Chris is currently studying for his CPL – interrupted temporarily by the arrival of his two children. Chris is enthusiastic about reinvigorating GA through the application of innovative technology and appropriate government policy settings.  Chris was introduced to flying through his grandfathers – one of whom was an Australian aviation journalist and war correspondent, the other a WWII RAAF wing commander. Big shoes to fill!

Tony Power

Tony holds afixed wing CPL and has around 350 hours flying time.  He was fortunate enough to do his instrument rating in the Beechcraft Baron, an aircraft he absolutely fell in love with.  His ultimate dream of aircraft ownership is to one day own one of these beautiful machines. After completing his flight training Tony worked as a Shark Patrol Pilot, flying at 500 feet along the coasts of South Australia in a Cessna 172 looking for sharks, and has coordinated flight operations and maintenance for the UniSA Aviation Academy at Parafield Airport.  He has also worked for Jetstar in fleet operations, analysing safety reports and performing risk assessments of safety incidents.  More recently he has done research into the safety culture of general and recreational aviation in Australia.  This research involved speaking to GA and RA pilots all over Australia.  It was fascinating to listen to people speak about their flying adventures, and it’s something he wants to continue to do, as he feels there’s much to be gained in learning and sharing the experiences of other pilots.  Tony is currently pursuing aPhD at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, exploring the opportunities and challenges for the aviation industry in utilising new technology such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence to improve flight training.  He has a keen interest in general aviation, particularly issues of safety, regulation, and flight training.  Above all though, Tony loves the experience and freedom of jumping in an aeroplane and taking flight among the clouds.

Benjamin Morgan

Executive Director - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) of Australia

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