Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Thompson, Freda (1906 - 1980)

OBE, 2001 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Born
5 April 1906
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Died
11 December 1980
Occupation
Aviator

Summary

Freda Thompson, a pioneer aviator, was the first Australian woman to fly solo from the United Kingdom to Australia. She completed the journey in a Gypsy Moth Major in 39 days flying time. After qualifying for her private pilot licence in 1930 and her commercial licence two years later in 1932, she became the first woman instructor in the British Empire on gaining her instructor rating in 1933. Finally, in 1934 she obtained the Great Britain Air Ministry Private Pilot Certificate, which enabled her to 'fly all types of machines'. During the 1930s she became the first woman president of the Royal Victorian Aero Club and was made a life member in 1941. She was a foundation member of the Australian Women Pilots' Association. Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1972 for services to aviation.

Details

Events

2001
Inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Freda Thompson, OBE', in Women shaping the nation: Victorian Honour Roll of Women, vol. 1, Centenary of Federation Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, 2001, p. 243; Dennis, Val, 'Thompson, Freda Mary (1906-1980)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160462b.htm.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Thompson, Freda, 1906-1980. Papers, 1918 - 1985, MS 7936; Thompson, Freda (1906 - 1980); National Library of Australia. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Freda Thompson, aviator; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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