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A Sense of Adventure Honoured – from Jungle Pilot to CEO

For Ed Ritchie, the model airplane that sits in his room reminds him of his father every day. He has been looking at this plane for thirty years with only the fondest of memories.

This is the story of a young boy who got to watch his father rise as one of the true pioneers of aviation – living an exciting life that many could only dream of. It has inspired Ed to live a life where he seeks adventure and ‘loves to get lost to find himself’.

Ed’s dad, Robert ‘Bert’ Ritchie, flew planes when they were more of an ‘adventurous pass time’ – used only to deliver mail, freight or take joy rides in.

He started his career in Papua New Guinea moving machinery for gold mining and flew secret messages between Perth and Colombo, Sri Lanka, during WWII, before joining Qantas where he would retire in the top job of CEO in 1976.

“It was a pretty busy life and dad had to sacrifice a lot of time and regularly put his life in danger working hard to succeed in the skies – but we were so proud of him.”

“He used to say ‘just keep your head down and work hard – goodness will follow!”

“I feel very lucky to have been left some of what I consider dad’s most precious items – including a photo of him receiving the Order of Australia medal and this fantastic model of one of the cargo planes in flew in Papua New Guinea.”

“I’m one of five children, so I feel very privileged to have these and it is lovely waking each day and being reminded of the great relationship we had,” Ed concludes.

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