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Our People

Our highly experienced team has first-hand knowledge of the aviation and aerospace industries, assisting Aviation Australia to achieve excellence in aviation training.

Executive Team

     Chief Executive Officer – Mr William Horrocks CSC

Bill was appointed to the position of CEO of Aviation Australia in January 2011.

Prior to this, Bill served with the Australian Army.  His military experience covered a range of leadership and management roles, including Division Head and Director General with the Defence Materiel Organisation, where he was responsible for the acquisition and support of the Australian Defence Force’s land systems and equipment.

Bill commanded the Australian Army Recruit Training Centre and represented the Australian Army in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  He participated in operational service in Rwanda.

Bill has an extensive range of tertiary qualifications from the Universities of Queensland, New South Wales, Charles Sturt and Deakin.

He is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the City and Guilds of London, and a member of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Institute of Project Management.


Financial Controller and Company Secretary – Kellie Rowing

Kellie joined Aviation Australia in April 2016 and has over 20 years of finance and company secretarial experience.

 Prior to joining Aviation Australia, Kellie spent 10 years with Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd, where she held senior finance roles and was Company Secretary.  She has also previously worked for chartered accounting firms in Australia and overseas.

 Kellie has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), and is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a certified member of the Governance Institute of Australia.


Professor Talal YusafChief Business Development Officer –  Professor Talal Yusaf

Professor Talal Yusaf commenced his role as Pro Vice Chancellor, International at Federation University Australia in September 2018. Previous roles included teaching, research and management positions for international universities including South East Asia, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom and in Queensland for the last 30 years. Professor Yusaf holds PhDs in renewable energy and biomechanical engineering and has strong research backgrounds in the field of Renewable Energy, alternative fuels and mechanical methods for water treatment.

Professor Yusaf’s academic qualifications include BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering UoT Baghdad in 1987, Master by Research from the National University Malaysia UKM (in collaboration with PETRONAS) in 994, PhD in Alternative Energies from UKM Malaysia in 1999 and PhD in Biomechanical Engineering from USQ Queensland in 2010.

 Professor Yusaf’s professional memberships and affiliations include Executive Director at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ, International Sponsor Engagement and Research Partnerships (ISERP), Bio-Energy Research Group Leader at National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, Associate Editor-in-Chief, Energies Journal, and Applied Sciences Journal, Groundwater for Sustainable Development, and International Journal of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering (IJAME).

Professor Yusaf has supervised till completion over 30 HDR students and has written and contributed to over 165 journals, (Scopus H 31) and 10 books in the area of alternative energies.


Technical Training Manager –  Mark Thompson

Mark joined the company in May 2015, bringing extensive and broad engineering and maintenance experience, developed over 38 years with Qantas Engineering, with his most recent role as Manager Line Maintenance Operations QLD/NT.

Mark has completed a significant amount of aviation training including LAME qualifications in both Mechanical and Avionic streams, MEDA, Taproot, Human Factors, Safety and Risk as well as Lean Methodologies.

Mark holds a Diploma in Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, CAANZ Maintenance Controller accreditation and is our responsible manager for the CASA and EASA Part 147 approvals.



Operations Manager Flight Safety –  Harsha Patel

Harsha joined Aviation Australia in August 2010, bringing extensive and broad experience in service-orientated private and Government owned educational organisations. During her career, she has won a number of sales awards and played a key role in the organisation winning the QLD Premiers Award.  

Her formal qualifications include Masters of Education (TESOL), International Diploma of Language Teaching Management, Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. Harsha is also a freelance Cambridge CELTA teacher trainer.

Harsha has a passion for adult teaching and learning. More recently she has been looking into gamification and game play in education.  Understanding under what circumstances game elements can drive learning behaviour.


Human Resources Manager – Kerrie Fiechtner

Kerrie is an experienced HR professional who joined Aviation Australia in December 2018.  Kerrie’s HR experience has been gained across a broad range of industries including government, energy, community and professional services and she has also owned and run several small businesses during her career.

Kerrie has particular expertise in talent management, leadership coaching and change management.   Her formal qualifications include a Business Degree in Human Resources Management, a Masters in Leadership and Change Management and CIPD qualifications in the UK.  She is also a certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute. Kerrie is motivated by helping organisations to successfully navigate the constant changes faced in the modern business environment by optimising their most important asset – people. 


 Marketing Manager Marketing & Communications Manager –  Jason Tunguy-Desmarais

Jason joined Aviation Australia in April 2020, bringing over 18 years of Marketing, Advertising and Communications experience to the team. His interest in marketing started with a Bachelor of Business Science, before specialising in Marketing Communications and Strategic Brand Management. His career has included implementing communications for a diverse range of clients during his Advertising Agency years, followed by 8 years of driving the Strategic Marketing and Operations for a multinational Franchisor operating throughout Sub-Saharan African and the Indian Ocean Islands.

Jason immigrated to Australia in 2017 to take up a position at a leading Video Production agency, focused on utilising video and animation to enhance the communication strategies for local businesses.

Jason is motivated by the power of strategic marketing and communication to connect an organisation to its audience and create real change, both internally and externally.


Product Design & Development –  Gordon Brown

Gordon joined the company in January 2015, He is a Qualified Trade Aircraft Mechanic and has Instructed/Facilitated Technical training basic and Type, WPA, Training Design, and Instructional Techniques (Instruments) courses.

Gordon also holds a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (2000), an Advanced Diplomas in Personnel and Operations Management, and Advanced Diploma in Air Force Studies, and Diplomas in Business Management, Training and Assessment Systems, Project Management and Government Management.

Gordon is bringing his vast industry knowledge to the product design and development of aviation training. He is currently focussed on the implementation of a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) which is integrated into a Learning Management System (LMS)


Quality Assurance Manager –  Dale Grelck

Dale joined Aviation Australia in May 2016, where he was initially employed as the Chief Examiner, before taking on his current role as Quality Assurance Manager. He has a background in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering – Avionics and brings more than 30 years of aviation industry knowledge to the organisation from both the military and civilian sectors. He has extensive experience in the operational, maintenance and training environments on rotary-wing, fixed-wing, jet and propeller type aircraft.

Prior to joining Aviation Australia, Dale spent 14 years working abroad with international organisations including roles in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. He previously held the position of Training Manager of the Aviation Engineering Program at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai. Dale has a Masters in Aviation Management from the University of Newcastle, and also holds qualifications in Project Management, Training & Assessment, Lead Auditing and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.


Manager Administration Systems –  Kristina Peebles

Kristina joined Aviation Australia in November 2011. She has a Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Leadership/ Lead Auditor, with 17 years’ experience in the employment & VET industry. Some of her more prominent roles include Customer Service Officer at Qld Apprenticeship Services and RTO Project Manager at Jobready Software Solutions.

Kristina was involved in developing a new student management system software over 2 years, helping 120 new clients nationally which she also personally managed and trained. Kristina has worked on a number of changes within Aviation Australia to help streamline the student experience. She did this by introducing, an online student portal and an online timetable access option.


Senior Manager, Business Development – Rohini D’Souza

Rohini joined Aviation Australia in August 2018 and brings over 15 years of trade facilitation, business development and client and stakeholder relationship management experience. Prior to this Rohini was working with the Queensland Government to address industry challenges and opportunities enabling economic growth for Queensland.  Rohini has worked across many portfolios including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, international education and more recently aviation. Being outcome oriented, Rohini managed several industry development programs that challenged companies to collaborate in novel ways to generate greater purchasing power and scalability. Possessing innate business nous and strong commercial acumen, Rohini can drive business cases from concept to implementation to expansion. Rohini is Asian and Indian subcontinent business literate and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of International Business.  Rohini is a Board Director of Bne Enterprise.


Head of Flight Operations and Training – Patrick Murray 

Patrick’s aviation experience draws from a diverse range of operational, instructional and display pilot roles. Following his time in the Air Force, Patrick joined a major international airline as Senior Check and Training Captain as well as leading the airline instructor training program. His achievements also include holding an academic appointment as Professor of Aviation and Logistics at The University of Southern Queensland. His passion for pilot training has led him to conduct research into pilot aptitude assessment and the improvement of aviation safety through evidence-based training.



Business Manager Cairns –  Chris Pigott

Chris has been working in the aircraft industry throughout the Pacific for the past 30 years. Chris has been the business manager for the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre Aviation Australia for nine years and has previously held senior positions in the aviation industry as Director of Engineering for three major Regional Airlines.

Chris is a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) licenced aircraft maintenance engineer as well as a CASA approved maintenance Controller and Private Pilot.

Throughout Chris’s career, he has been an active member of the aviation industry through his Chairmanship of the Australasian Aviation Group Cairns, as a Technical Representative for the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) and as an Industry advisor for both National Aeroskills and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority just to name a few.