Women Moving Australia Case Studies
Name: Jan Becker
What is your job title?
CEO and Director, Becker Helicopter Services Pty Ltd
Which company/organisation do you work for?
Becker Helicopters Pilot Academy and Associated Companies. I am also a Midwife who works at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital and a Volunteer Midwife in Tanzania.
Board member for:
- Helicopter Association International USA
- Prince Charles Hospital | QLD Health
- Cherish Gynaecological Cancer Foundation (Deputy Chair)
Job description (in 25 words or less!):
My role is to drive the strategic goals of the company, oversee the regulatory and compliance issues, and manage our systems and finances to ensure the company’s fleet of 18 helicopters can stay in the air.
What studies have you undertaken?
I hold a Masters in Aviation Management, a Bachelor of Science (Nursing), Registered Midwife and I hold a Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence. I have also attended Harvard, in Boston USA for residency school on Leadership and Innovation. I am currently completing a Ph. D.
Tell us about your experience in the transport & logistics industry.
I grew up in Singapore. My father was involved in the aerial transport of Air fast in Asia. He is a 17,000 fixed wing agriculture pilot himself. My brother is a licenced aeronautical engineer and pilot. My husband, Mike Becker, is a 15,000 hour helicopter pilot. I was destined to have a role in air transport.
In the early 1990’s I worked as a Midwife in the remote areas of PNG often getting in and out of remote areas by helicopter. We came back to Australia and established Becker Helicopters in 1995.
In 2000 when I completed my first solo flight as part of my Commercial Helicopter Licence it inspired a dream to Train the Next Generation of Helicopter Pilots.
When we stared our training business we taught mainly the “boys from the bush” how to fly to enable them to muster by helicopter, provide bush transport, or get into aerial tourism jobs etc. We then pursued the international student market and broadened our scope into more advanced pilot training, including night operations and the use of Night Vision Goggles.
Becker Helicopter Services is now the largest helicopter pilot training academy in the Southern Hemisphere. Our clients now include military organisations from around the world.
Pilots we trained are now working in roles varying from defence roles, people/logistics movement for mines, offshore oil rigging, aerial slinging of commercial or industrial goods, or as aeromedical pilots for Careflight or Westpac Rescue.
We also provide a range of airwork services, from disaster/emergency response and aerial recovery, to aerial firefighting, to search and rescue, or to transport government or ministerial staff for disaster survey. We are renowned for being responsive, able to mobile quickly, and operate with an untarnished safety record.
Which other industries have you worked in?
Health Sector – Pharmaceuticals and Midwifery.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Nothing is forever – stay focused and energised.
Best advice to give:
Be audacious – this is the main event we don’t get a dress rehearsal.
It’s a bad day when:
Too many helicopters are in the engineering hangar.
It’s a good day when:
Powder snow falling when skiing the slopes in Colorado.
What direction do you see yourself heading in the future?
- Completing PhD
- Gaining my Night Vision Goggles Rating
- Fly across USA in a helicopter
- Sitting on Boards Internationally in Aviation and other disciplines
Who are your role models?
Mum and Dad – they gave me a grounded and International view of the world. And they worked hard.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, what do you do?
Take the family dog for a walk.
Sunrise or sunset?
If flying a helicopter, sunrise – it’s a truly spectacular watching that dawn light.
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