Richard Baker is a Northern Territory indigenous man from Borroloola. He is a trained Northern Territory National Park Ranger and Commercial Helicopter Pilot with over 5000 hours of flight time.
In 2008/9 Richard expressed that he would like to train as a commercial pilot. 18FiFTY3 Group now commercial manager owner, Ben Surawski assisted Richard to seek funding and created a management plan for training. This was approved and over the next 14 months Richard completed his Cert IV (Commercial Helicopter Pilot) and was awarded the Northern Territory Aboriginal Trainee of the year.
18FiFTY3 Group owner Richard Baker now has over 5000 hours of flight time and utilises his skills to helicopter muster in Aboriginal Cattle properties in Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory. As well as being involved with 18FiFTY3 Group, over the next 12 months Richard is aiming to establish his own helicopter mustering company operating in Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory. Richard will contract to the large Aboriginal cattle stations in the area. Richard also supports environmental programmes on Aboriginal Lands such as sea turtle tagging programmes on Mornington Island.
Since he was awarded a grant from the NT Government and MRM Mining, Richard’s contribution back to the govt and community includes earnings that have gone directly back into the Borroloola and Normanton communities. Richard has purchased private land and other assets. Richard has injected tax revenue back to the government whilst supporting the Aboriginal cattle community and Ranger programmes with his work. Richard is well placed to manage teams in the 18FiFTY3 Group Environmental Management ground operations, guide Aboriginal students through their careers, work with government on implementing Aboriginal training programmes thus closing the educational and employment gaps that exist.