Richard Aboriginal Trainee of the Year
Borroloola resident Richard Baker has literally taken to the sky in
pursuit of his dreams.
In February 2009, Richard became the first resident of Borroloola to
qualify as a commercial helicopter pilot in the Northern Territory.
Richard’s achievements were acknowledged when he won the
award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year in
the 2009 Northern Territory Training Awards.
Like most pursuits of this nature, there were sacrifices that had to be
made for Richard to succeed in his chosen profession.
Enduring long hours of study, isolation from his family, and intensive
theoretical, medical and flight examinations are all standard
requirements of any individual seeking to pilot a helicopter.
With his determination to succeed and educational expenses
funded by the MRM Community Benefits Trust and the NT Government, Richard
embraced the challenges, and achieved rewards for his efforts.
Now employed as a Line Pilot by Airborne Solutions in Katherine,
Richard spends most of his flying hours conducting scenic tours
high above Nitmiluk National Park.
It’s this valuable time in the air that allows Richard to log his flight
hours and hone his flying skills that will eventually allow Richard
to progress into his real passion – chopper mustering on remote
Northern Territory cattle stations. Working cattle is in Richard’s blood. Many years working from the
back of a horse and in hot and dusty cattle yards will soon give-way
to the thumping of rotor blades.