Flinders Foundation launches new business seminar series featuring aviation leaders on 20 May

Flinders Foundation Infrastructure Series Event Airport

Three of Queensland’s top names in aviation presented at a sold-out seminar on Thursday, 20 May at Matthew Flinders Anglican College in Buderim.

Hosted by the Flinders Foundation, the 2021 Infrastructure Series is a new seminar series to inspire, connect and educate the community through presentations that explore the potential for growth and innovation on the Sunshine Coast. 

The first seminar explored the Sunshine Coast Airport’s success as Australia’s fastest growing airport with 1.3 million passengers annually prior to 2020 when the terminals were effectively closed due to COVID-19.  

The presentations shared the Airport’s master plan for growth beyond the pandemic and also highlight the opportunities for Alliance Airlines as Australia’s leading regional airline.

Speakers included Andrew Brodie, CEO, Sunshine Coast Airport; Steve Padgett, Chairman, Alliance Airlines; and Scott McMillan, Managing Director, Alliance Airlines; with communications consultant Jennifer Swaine as emcee.

Flinders Foundation Chair, Mr John Gannon

Flinders Foundation Chair, lawyer Mr John Gannon said the new business networking event at the College would enable community members to connect and learn.

“The Flinders Foundation is delighted to launch our new seminar series with three of the Coast’s business visionaries in conversation,” Mr Gannon said.

“As a leading Queensland school, Matthew Flinders Anglican College is proud to provide a positive platform for our community to come together and learn,” he said. 

“We have many Flinders families involved in businesses of all types across diverse industries, and we know they will appreciate the wealth of information and vision these speakers provide.”  

The speakers have each played an instrumental role in shaping the future of the Coast through major infrastructure projects in the aviation industry.  

Insights were provided into the Sunshine Coast Airport’s recent $350 million redevelopment and the delivery of appropriately timed major infrastructure projects as the Airport strives to continue to outperform as Australia’s fastest growing airport.

The presentations explained the Airport’s plan for growth beyond COVID and the forecast to exceed pre-pandemic traffic. 

The Flinders Foundation's next Infrastructure Series event will be held on 14 October at Matthew Flinders Anglican College.

About the Flinders Foundation 

The Flinders Foundation aims to connect, support and engage the community and to encourage philanthropic support for Matthew Flinders Anglican College. 

This enables the Foundation to support key projects at the College, including student scholarships, information events and building infrastructure projects, including the Wonderarium learning centre which is due to open in the Flinders Primary School in Term 4, 2021. The Wonderarium is wholly funded by the Flinders Foundation for the long-term benefit of students, current and future. 

Event speakers:

- Andrew Brodie, Chief Executive Officer of the Sunshine Coast Airport

- Steve Padgett, Chairman of Alliance Airlines and 2019 recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for outstanding achievement and service to aviation

- Scott McMillan, Managing Director at Alliance Airline

Event emcee communications consultant Jennifer Swaine has consulted to Regional Development Australia, Sunshine Coast and is Chair of the Sunshine Coast Business Awards and Vice President of the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance.

Booking Information

2021 Flinders Foundation Infrastructure Seminar Series
Thursday, 20 May 2021, 6-8pm
Flinders Performance Centre
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim 


Andrew Brodie | Chief Executive Officer, Sunshine Coast Airport
In February 2019, Andrew was appointed Chief Executive Officer for Sunshine Coast Airport. He has been responsible for driving the continued success of the airport through the delivery of major infrastructure projects. Andrew came to Sunshine Coast Airport after eight years in senior executive positions at Brisbane Airport Corporation, most recently as General Manager, Airline and Retail Management. He also has more than 20 years’ experience in commercial property management, having spent 15 years with GPT/Lend Lease and AMP. In February 2021, Andrew was also appointed Chief Executive Officer to AGILIS, the management company established to oversee both Coffs Harbour and Sunshine Coast Airports.

Steve Padgett | Chairman, Alliance Airlines
Steve Padgett has been in aviation since 1964. He learned to fly at age 16, winning a Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) Flying Scholarship, earning commissioned rank, Commercial Pilot’s Licence and Instructor Rating aged just 19. Steve is Co-Founder and Chairman of Alliance Aviation Services, formerly Alliance Airlines. He is also Founder and Managing Director of Flight Options (Australia), Universal Training Systems and SJP Aviation. In 2019, Steve Padgett was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for outstanding achievement and service.

Scott McMillan | Managing Director, Alliance Airlines
Scott McMillan has been Managing Director of Alliance since its establishment in April 2002. Prior to joining Alliance, Scott held various positions with Ansett Australia and Flight West Airlines and qualified as a chartered accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co (now KPMG). Scott has 25+ years’ experience in the aviation industry in Australasia across various financial, operational and commercial roles, including significant experience in the FIFO industry.

Jennifer Swaine | Marketing and Communications

Jennifer Swaine is a communications consultant to Regional Development Australia, Sunshine Coast; Chair of the Sunshine Coast Business Awards; Vice President of the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance; and a Non-Executive Director of Visit Sunshine Coast. She is a regular columnist in the Sunshine Coast Daily and Hello Sunshine and works hard to actively promote, connect and collaborate with others to promote and increase the profile of the greater Sunshine Coast.

Event contact:
Rachel Sotiropoulos
Flinders Foundation Liaison
07 5477 3229


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