“I started out when there were very few Papua New Guinea women pilots and I had to deal with friends and family telling me I’d never make it as a pilot. But I am proud to be a role model today for other girls and women in male-dominated industries. My advice to girls and young women is be confident, keep learning, ask questions, listen, and know that nothing is impossible.” Lydia Clancy.
Lydia Clancy, First Female Pilot from Papua New Guinea Who Flies Virgin Australia
In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, we are celebrating the achievements of amazing Papua New Guinean women.
Growing up in Mendi, Lydia Clancy watched planes take off and land, dreaming of becoming a pilot. Her parents wanted her to study medicine, but she had other plans.
After graduating from high school, Lydia scoured the newspapers for opportunities and finally secured an Australian Government scholarship to study aviation in Queensland. The rest is history!
In 2014, Lydia became the first Papua New Guinean woman pilot to fly for Virgin Australia Airlines in Australia. She has now returned home and is flying all around PNG – and to Australia – with PNG Air.
“I started out when there were very few PNG women pilots and I had to deal with friends and family telling me I’d never make it as a pilot. But I am proud to be a role model today for other girls and women in male-dominated industries. My advice to girls and young women is be confident, keep learning, ask questions, listen, and know that nothing is impossible.”
Words and image by Australian High Commission - Port Moresby.
Words from Lydia about her journey to becaming the first Woman pilot from Papua New Guinea to fly for Virgin Australia Airlines in Australia.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your beautiful words of support. I would also like to say it would not have been possible without my faith in Almighty God..none of everything I've accomplished and what I continue to accomplish would be possible without my God Yehova, all Glory honour and praise belongs to Him It has been a journey on a lonely rugged road where no one sees except the traveller alone and those that come every now and again to walk along the traveler.
Behind that smile, there were loads of tears and struggles as well which no one saw..21 years of aviation has seen me through alot of highs and equal amounts of lows.
I am not telling you this to have a pity party..oh no. I don't regret anyone of them because without them I wouldn't be the person I am today mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
I have had to work through my own mindset because with all the popularity comes with it alot of criticism, jealousy, belittling, condescending remarks and even hate from your own family because you decided to accomplish big things. But that's ok, we can't control what others think about us or how our surroundings present themselves to us but we can control us!
I can control me and my actions and how I react. And I choose to forgive, love and have empathy for everyone who has ever hurt me or thinks wrongly. It's got nothing to do with me or with you when you want to excel in life and break the viscous cycle of toxic traditions set by generations .
I can relate to that young girl in the mountains of our highlands walking to school barefoot, I can relate to that young girl striving in high school with huge dreams to get a scholarship, I can relate to that PNGean who wants to be the first of something, I can relate to you who want to live a life of financial freedom but don't know how to. And the list goes on...After 21 years of smashing my own goals I have now decided to take a new path in my life.
I have invested in my self education and am on an exciting journey of being an entrepreneur
Being an entrepreneur is something I've always wanted to do..to be my own Boss and live life on my own terms! I have so much inside of me that I want to unpack to the world. If my story can change just one person just one life every day, then my mission is accomplished and I don't regret everything I went through to be here
I would love to invite you all to follow along with me on this exciting new journey I'm on here. Have a brilliant day/night wherever you on our beautiful planet God bless you all. Go Be Great.
By Lydia Clancy (Linkedin comment). Featured image credited to LC.