RA-Aus Board Election Nomination – Simon Ozanne

During these times when many of us are grappling with home schooling; having too little personal space, or too much; working in ways we never thought viable; and not knowing what next year will bring, we need the certainty and freedom to continue with recreational aviation. Big gains have been made in opening up opportunities for our pilots, GA is declining and so more people are venturing to our organisation, we are now a professional body, and we share a good relationship with regulators. Although not perfect, RA-Aus has grown to be a dynamic and impressive organisation. Right now, there is an opportunity to continue that growth by encouraging, promoting and further developing our sport, increasing privileges, tapping into the explosion of ideas surrounding sport aviation, and potentially opening the organisation to other recreational aviators.

In part, this will require the right Board, who are competent and pragmatic in overseeing and governing our sport, and most importantly, who engage with, and represent the members. But that is only one part. The other part is great leadership, vision and the specific skills of its Directors. 

I believe with my background I will complement the Board and bring the enthusiasm (and expertise) required to capitalise on the framework and opportunity we have.

Industry knowledge. From a very young age I had a passion for flying; I read biographies of the pioneers, visited museums, was an Air Cadet, and flew solo in both powered aircraft and gliders, as soon as I was able. I lived and breathed aviation. That enthusiasm continued in a long and successful Air Force career, first as a pilot and then in management and governance. Post Air Force, I have flown in numerous commercial operations. I hold air transport, recreational and remote pilot licenses, as well as numerous ratings and endorsements, and I own my own light-sport aircraft.

Understanding stakeholder expectations. Since December 2017, I have successfully run my own aviation consultancy (Alacon Aero Pty Ltd). This requires an innate understanding of the regulations and developments in the commercial, general and military aviation sectors. Business partnering has provided access to a large cross-section of the aviation community, and I use this exposure to understand current and arising industry issues. As well as RA-Aus, I am an active affiliate of the AFAP, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Financial Literacy and Legal skill. Several of the managerial roles and commercial projects I have held or been involved with, have required me to work within the contract, commercial and corporate/enterprise law frameworks. I have also worked with employees on enterprise bargaining agreements, under the laws of armed conflict, and to prosecute military cases. Daily I operate within the various aviation regulations. I have (successfully) challenged numerous adverse financial and administrative decisions. These examples, and the successful management of my own business, demonstrates my financial and legal capacity.

Strategic expertise, managing people and affecting change. As a military officer, I led and managed numerous high performing teams of professionals, delivering projects for Defence/Government. Now, a key focus of my consultancy work is business intelligence; white paper strategy, operational improvement and change management. My Management and Leadership Diplomas coupled with shrewd real-world acumen have enabled me to effectively lead people into combat zones, on operations and through life changing events. I consider this a strength. Affecting change, diffusing conflict and influencing the membership and regulators, will be a particular challenge of the Board over this coming period.

Managing risk. During my early flying career (the mid-late nineties), Air Force suffered several major accidents. They knew reform was required and were looking for key personnel to develop and champion a new safety management system (SMS). I volunteered. A core idea we developed (revolutionary then) was to manage risk proactively rather than retrospectively; looking at both preventions and recoveries. This was the start of my risk management journey. Since then, I have developed SMS for several clients, have attained an Advanced Diploma of Integrated Risk Management, now teach risk management, and am working towards certification as a Practicing Risk Manager (CPRM).

Information technology. IT – my other passion. Daily I work with a variety of IT systems, and under contract, have managed networked mission planning systems for Defence. I have a Computer Science degree, have worked on numerous software replacement projects, and have long advocated for the incorporation of enhanced software systems in aviation.

I declare that I derive income and remuneration through my aviation consultancy business, Alacon Aero Pty Ltd, and as a member of the ADF Reserve Forces supporting the Air Force cadet flying training system.