Deborah Lawrie was just 16 years old when she knew she wanted to fly planes for a living.
Lawrie’s pioneering step into aviation lead the way for more women to enter the male-dominated industry.
“My father took up flying as a hobby when I was about 14 years old. I used to go to airport and watch him take off and fly,” Lawrie told Mamamia.
“He told me he would give me two lessons for my 16th birthday, but after that I would have to pay for my own lessons.”
And that's exactly what Lawrie did. She kept studying and took her first solo flight when she was just 16 years old.
"Your first solo flight is the biggest milestone for any pilot, I really wanted to fly solo so I could prove to my father that I could do it."
It was during that solo flight Lawrie realised just how much she loved flying.
She kept studying and logging her hours in the sky and by the time she was twenty one she was a qualified commercial pilot and instructor.
But it was when Lawrie started applying for jobs at Australia's biggest commercial airlines, that she realised her dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot might not come true.