Sky is the limit for Ainsleigh
TECH-SAVVY 16-year-old Ainsleigh O'Sullivan is on the right path to scoring her dream job of in the aviation industry.
She is Gympie's only known Year 12 student to be awarded a $3000 Defence Technical Scholarship, which rewards students that remain at school to further their study in a technical trade.
Although there is no obligation to join the navy, army or air force after finishing school, Miss O'Sullivan hopes to end up working as an aircraft technician in the air force.
She passed the rigorous selection process, assessed on a merit basis, to be one of 1450 young Australians awarded the scholarship this year.
Her dad Patrick said tinkering with engines was a passion he shared with his daughter. She has helped him service family vehicles and restore classic cars and motorbikes since she was a youngster.
When she was in primary school, Miss O'Sullivan wanted to be a motor mechanic and open her own garage.
She set her sights higher when she graduated to high school. In fact, during Year 11 Miss O'Sullivan sacrificed every one of her school holidays to work in aviation.
When she graduates from Year 12 at the end of the year, she will have also achieved a Certificate II in Aeroskills.
Miss O'Sullivan took on a comprehensive school-based traineeship in 2011 through the Queensland Institute for Aviation Engineering at Caloundra.
As part of the program she is also employed for one day a week with Maryborough Aviation Services.
"Ainsleigh has been required to attend the Institute for blocks of up to three weeks during her school holidays since January 2011," mum Susan said.
"It has been an extensive and passionate commitment, which involves much travel, in addition to continually achieving a high standard in her schooling."
The Victory College senior was required to meet strict eligibility criteria to win the scholarship. It was mandatory to be enrolled in a technical subject as well as mathematics and English. A comprehensive 14-page handwritten application was accompanied with a recent school report and endorsement from the school principal, and references from industry trainers.