Reaching for the Sky

On Saturday, 21st November 2009, the Rotary Clubs of Wodonga West, Albury West and Albury combined their efforts to provide a first-ever flight for 65 specially chosen young children from the local area.

The flight was arranged with Qantas who have regular flights in to Albury and took many months of organising by Wodonga West member, Neville Hull, because it was necessary for Qantas to re-arrange their flight schedule to Albury that day.

The children were chosen from primary schools in Albury and Wodonga with the essential criteria being (a) they have never flown before, and (b) there were extenuating circumstances perhaps relating to family or health issues which meant that the opportunity to fly might be unavailable to these children, at least in the foreseeable future.

The flight was for a duration of approximately 50 minutes and despite the inclement weather, it was an outstanding success. The flight went northwards past Wagga and then returned. Six Rotary members also travelled as carers but fortunately their assistance was not needed, even though all the children participated in a barbecue provided by Rotary immediately prior to the flight!

The excitement shown by the participants both before and after the flight made the project extremely worthwhile. It was also pleasing to note the number of parents who approached Rotarians at the airport afterwards to express their appreciation for the opportunity.

The flight was given excellent coverage in both the print and TV news media. Each of the three participating Rotary Clubs contributed an amount of $1,500 to cover the costs of chartering the plane for this purpose.
Rtn Neville Hull
Rotary Club of Wodonga West