top of page

ANNOUNCEMENT: 4 Inductees & The Winner of the Southern Cross Award for 2024

Since its inception in 2011, the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame (AAHOF) has honoured 57 Australians who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation and aerospace in this nation. AAHOF has further recognised 11 organisations who have also made outstanding contributions to aviation and aerospace through the Southern Cross Award.

Four exceptional individual candidates have been identified for induction into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2024, and one organisation has been recognised through the bestowal of the Southern Cross Award.

The AAHOF Inductees for 2024:

George Morgan

George Morgan was born in 1952, and grew up in Victoria’s Williamstown area, right under the flight path of heavily laden DC3’s and DC4’s lumbering their way from Essendon to Tasmania. George’s first flight was with his grandmother, in a Reg Ansett helicopter from Essendon airport. George started building and flying model airplanes which progressed to flying gliders at Bacchus Marsh, making his first flight at the age of 12.

By the age of 17, George had his glider instructor rating. During this period, he would have to be driven to Bacchus Marsh airfield by the very people he was instructing to fly. Through gliding, he met his future business partner, Peter Furlong. George commenced an apprenticeship in airframes and engines at the Government Aircraft Factory at Fisherman’s Bend in 1969 working on the design, development, and certification phases of the Nomad aircraft. George established a glider repair and sales business at Bacchus Marsh and at the same time was selected as a member of the Australian Gliding team to participate at the world gliding championships.

In 1984, partnering with Peter Furlong, Gippsland Aeronautics was incorporated at Latrobe Valley aerodrome. Their partnership saw the modification of Pawnee aircraft for local agricultural work and the development and certification of the Gippsland Aeronautics GA200 agricultural aircraft. In 1993, work commenced on the design of the GA8 Airvan, achieving its type certification from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in 2000. Between 2000-2020, over 265 Airvans were manufactured flying in 38 different counties.

The design of the ten-seater GA10 turboprop was next, with certification completed in 2017. The production of Airvan aircraft ceased in 2019, and in 2023, George purchased 100% of the company back from Mahindra. The GA-8 is now a widely proven and accepted aircraft, operated in the harshest environments and roughest air strips in the world. Both Peter and George acknowledged that along the way of fulfilling their vision, many people have assisted them; “It has been a real team effort”.

Peter Furlong

Born in 1947, Peter Furlong became a motor mechanic and in 1965 learnt to fly with the Latrobe Valley Aero Club. Following his training as a pilot of both powered aircraft and gliders, in 1969 Peter took up employment in aircraft maintenance, and qualified as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

From 1972 Peter was a partner in Latrobe Valley Aviation Services. In addition to being an aircraft maintenance engineer, Peter was also an accomplished pilot of both aeroplanes and gliders, and an amateur aircraft builder of note. In 1973, his piloting skills culminated with him becoming an Australian aerobatic champion. In 1977, following the retirement of his then business partner, he established Gippsland Aeronautics as a sole trader.

In 1984, the company was incorporated as Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd, when George Morgan became a partner. Under Peter and George’s leadership the company transitioned from a small aircraft maintenance organisation into a highly successful aircraft manufacturer and exporter.

It was during this time that Gippsland Aeronautics designed and obtained Supplemental Type Certificates for various PA25 safety and performance modifications, leading to the GA200 certification completion in 1991. The GA200 remained in manufacture from 1991 to 2000.

From 1994, Peter and the team, were involved in the design for the GA8 Airvan multi role utility aircraft. Certification of GA8 Airvan was completed in 2000. Never interested in manufacture as much as invention, Peter then turned to the GA10 concept.

Peter retired in 2010 and passed away in December 2017.

Sir Macpherson Robertson KBE

Sir Macpherson Robertson, KBE (September 6, 1859 - August 20, 1945), was a distinguished Australian philanthropist, entrepreneur, and the founder of MacRobertson's, a renowned chocolate and confectionery company. Born in Ballarat, Victoria, he was instrumental in introducing American inventions such as chewing gum and cotton candy to Australia.

Robertson's entrepreneurial spirit and visionary philanthropy left an indelible mark in Australian history. He provided significant financial backing for the historic England to Australia air race in 1934, showcasing his passion for aviation and pioneering spirit. His generous support facilitated global participation in the race, elevating its international prominence and bridging the distance between Australia and the rest of the world.

Throughout his life, Robertson received numerous honours and awards in recognition of his contributions to aviation and philanthropy. His enduring legacy serves as a testament to the power of vision, generosity, and innovation in shaping the world we live in today. Sir Macpherson Robertson remains a revered figure in Australian society, celebrated for his entrepreneurial achievements and commitment to making a difference.

Jack Grant

John ‘Jack’ Grant, a native of Queensland, was born in 1921. He made an indelible mark on aviation safety during his tenure as the Operations Safety Superintendent at Qantas Airways. Grant's ground-breaking invention, the inflatable aircraft escape slide raft, introduced in 1975, reshaped safety protocols in the airline industry. This innovation, a world-first in aviation safety, swiftly became mandatory equipment for all major airlines.

Grant's inventive prowess and technical acumen were instrumental in developing the slide raft, a vital safety measure for emergency evacuations. Initially conceived for Qantas aircraft, the inflatable device soon became a standard feature across the aviation sector. Its efficacy was demonstrated dramatically during the Hudson River landing, where a large number of the 155 passengers safely evacuated the aircraft using the floating escape slide rafts.

Recognised globally for his contribution to aviation safety, Grant received widespread acclaim and accolades. His legacy endures as the slide raft continues to be integral to ensuring passenger safety in air travel worldwide. Grant's pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to excellence serve as a testament to the profound impact individuals can have on shaping the future of aviation safety.


The Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA) traces its roots back to September 16, 1950, when it was established with an initial membership of 35 pioneering women and Nancy Bird Walton, a pioneering figure in Australian aviation (and an inductee into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame), serving as its first president. A completely volunteer driven organisation, the AWPA continues to offer a platform for women pilots to connect, share experiences, and support one another.

The foundational principles outlined in the original constitution continue to underscore its mission to promote friendship among women aviators, support aspiring female pilots, cultivate public enthusiasm for aviation, particularly among women, and contribute to the advancement of aviation as a whole.

As it approaches its 75th anniversary, the association boasts a membership base exceeding 500 individuals, has an unparalleled scholarship program through numerous strategic partnerships with government and industry stakeholders, and continues to shape a strong future for women in aviation.

Formal Induction Dinner

A formal gala induction and awards dinner will be conducted at the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame at the HARS Museum, 54 Airport Rd Albion Park Rail, on Saturday 26th October 2024. The event commences with canapes and welcome drinks at 4:00pm. The main event will commence at 5:30pm and conclude by 9pm.

Those being inducted will be invited to attend the event in person. The families of those inductees who are no longer with us will be invited to attend, as will representatives of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association, as the recipient of the Southern Cross Award.

Individual seats and/or tables of 10 for the gala dinner can be booked through our website from mid-May 2024.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page