From a rescue helicopter to a Spartan, the ability to help others through aviation is a family legacy that endures through No. 35 Squadron C27-J pilot Flying Officer Em Renshaw.
The recent Operation Solania marked Flying Officer Renshaw’s second visit to the Solomon Islands region in a year, an experience that had deeper meaning for the Tasmanian-born pilot.
Raised by a paramedic and police officer working with rescue helicopters at the Tasmanian Emergency Search and Rescue Service, Flying Officer Renshaw notes the positive impact her upbringing had in shaping her career.
"My mother was the only female in her rescue helicopter squad and seeing her courage and dedication to pursue a profession that’s traditionally male-dominated and raise a family was inspiring," Flying Officer Renshaw said.
"She instilled in me a sense of wonder, adventure and drive to be the best version of myself so that’s what I did.
"And now I get to fly and complete missions such as helping our Pacific neighbours in elections as I did last year or safeguarding their fisheries and protecting the locals’ livelihoods through Operation Solania."
While her choice of career has brought both challenges and rewards for the Australian Defence Force Academy graduate, Flying Officer Renshaw wouldn’t have it any other way.
"Earning my wings has been the first milestone in a highly rewarding career," she said.
"During training and now at No. 35 Squadron, I have forged enduring friendships, been honoured to travel the world for professional development opportunities and experiences that enrich my role as a leader and professional aviator on the C-27J Spartan.
"Whether it’s in the Pacific region, here in Australia or overseas, like my parents did, through my job I can help other people and make a difference."
While travelling abroad is considered a major perk for Flying Officer Renshaw, it’s the trips back home that are the most important.
"I’ll never forget the time I landed the C-27J in Hobart and I was able to show my family around the aircraft, my grandfather loved it," she said.
"Moments with my family are priceless and while I may travel far and wide, Tasmania is still the place I’ll call home."