Davida Forshaw

International Airline Pilot, Qantas Airways

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Follow your passion and seek out people who share your passion because they will love to help.

What do you do?

I am a pilot on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner flying all over the world!

Why did you choose this field?

I remember as a child my father would take me to the local airport where there was a playground. We would watch the aircraft takeoff and land. One day we went to the main airport to fly interstate for a family wedding. When I sat in the big jet I knew that I wanted to be able to do that - to be a pilot. I was 8 years old.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I was told as a young girl that women could not be airline pilots and I believed it because I never saw any women pilots. In 1979 I began my flying training. At that time there were still no female airline pilots in Australia so I decided I would be a flying instructor. However, during my training I met Australia's first female airline pilot, Deborah Lawrie and she changed my mind.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Flying a jet is an extraordinary experience. Every day I get to fly the incredible Boeing 787 Dreamliner, I receive first class training in state-of-the-art simulators, I fly around the world with amazing people who have become life-long friends, I see different countries and cultures and get to eat some great food!

Best advice for next generation?

I have 3 pieces of advice that I call PHD. P-(Passion) - Follow your passion and seek out people who share your passion because they will love to help you along your way. H - (Health) - Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Exercise and eat well, work hard and have fun. D - (Decisions) - In STEM we need people who are good problem solvers. Learn to make good decisions. Become a self-evaluator. Ask yourself "How did that go? What can I do better next time?"

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Keep the blue side up!" - For a pilot that means keep the sky at the top and the ground beneath, however it also means to keep moving forward with your life.

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