We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Family Membership, which is open to close family members of all GFA full flying members.

Join here Family Membership - or look under menu - Members information/membership.

This membership is FREE and does not require them to become a club member, but we hope that clubs will provide this opportunity to make them feel even more welcome. The new membership is to enable family members to more easily engage in the sport and the club and provides BBL insurance cover when volunteering in the sport. It should also allow the flying members more time to follow their passion.

Family members can fly as a Private Passenger at any time, but if they decide they would like to take gliding a little further they can take out a Flying Family Membership. The cost of this flying membership is $60 per year and the rights and privileges are very similar to those of an Air Experience Flight - they can receive instruction but no pilot-in-command rights, no solo, they must fly with an instructor to touch the controls and they must be a member of a Club. We hope that clubs will embrace this initiative and offer a minimal or zero membership fee to encourage family members to start to learn to fly.

Naturally the hope is that a number of these Flying Family Members will then progress in their training and wish to go solo and become full members of GFA.

Terry Cubley
GFA Executive Officer


The GFA AGM is being held on the last weekend in August in Melbourne.  Members are invited to join us for the meeting and the presentation dinner that evening, where the GFA Awards are presented. Booking details to follow. Members may nominate directly for the role of President, Vice President or Treasurer of the GFA. Do you have the skills and aptitude to take on one of these important roles?

AGM Meeting and Forum

The AGM will start at 3:30pm and be followed by a GFA Member Forum until 5:30pm

GFA AGM Presentation Dinner

The Meeting and Forum will be followed by the annual  Dinner and Awards Presentations

All members are invited to attend. The AGM and Forum is free and the Awards Dinner costs $45. Please book online



Development meeting team April 17

From L to R, Steve Pallas Sports Community, Ian Caldwell CMD, Tighe Patching Vic, David Fosdick WA, Peter Cesco VP, Mandy Temple President, Chris Thorpe EMO, Jenny Thompson Qld, Ian Grant Vic, Beryl Hartley NSW, Peter Sachs SA, Terry Cubley EO, Chris Stephens NSW, Ian Downes NT, Nick Mather Junior.

On 29-30 April 2017, GFA President MandyTemple, Executive Officer Terry Cubley, GFA Marketing and Development Chair Ian Caldwell and a group of volunteers met in Melbourne with representatives from Sports Community. As a company devoted to assisting community-based sports clubs to succeed by empowering club volunteers, Sports Community has been contracted to help halt membership decline, improve membership pathways and increase retention.

The meeting was very productive and all participants left feeling optimistic that the clubs can turn the situation around and secure the future of gliding for coming generations. The new strategy the group worked out will be launched at the GFA AGM in August with a working title of Soaring into the Future.

The Saturday was spent reviewing member pathways and on Sunday the team worked on ways to make the process easier for clubs and reduce the burden on volunteers. The message to take home was that unless we change, gliding is likely to be unsustainable into the future.

Sports Community provided the meeting participants with research information and successful experiences of many other similar sports facing the same issue, giving them confidence that future grant applications to support the new initiative can meet with success. Ian Caldwell, GFA Marketing and Development Chair, is the point of contact for this exciting initiative.

Johan Gustafsson's Acro copy

The attendance at Avalon Airshow 2017 was the largest yet, with more than 210,000 aviation enthusiasts attending and providing an attractive recruiting ground for gliding. However, this year we had a reduced presence as a very busy season of gliding events reduced the level of support from volunteers. Finding someone to manage our participation proved difficult, to the point that at one stage the GFA gliding contribution was cancelled.

Kim and Super Dimona copy

However a small crew of members finally banded together and undertook to represent and publicise the sport of gliding, supporting the RAAF Cadets who fielded an ASK-21Mi, and Swedish world champion glider aerobatic pilot Johan Gustafsson's great displays in his SZD-59 Acro.

Check out which shows the spectacular display of night flying, lighting and pyrotechnics similar to that displayed at theAirshow on Friday night.

The catalyst for the GFA representation was Phil Behnke from Queensland, who was supporting the Super Dimona entry with Robert Zmeskal and Kim Houghton. On hearing of our difficulties, Phil offered to publicise gliding and hand out brochures, just two weeks before the event. Greig Wanless, who brought a Grob 109B, also offered to assist.

Cadets simulators copy

Contact was made with airshow general aviation and airsport manager Glen Smith, who welcomed the GFA presence and arranged tentspace, tickets and parking. Volunteers joined in and we had the makings of a presence at the airshow, although without the usual gliders, simulator, interior displays, movies and posters presented in prior years.

The Air Force Cadet team had a very professional display, with much interest shown in the ASK-21 by many young people. A darkened tent housed two computer gliding simulators with projectors to introduce newcomers to flying gliders. Many young people eagerly tried them out. A Piper Cherokee thatthe Air Cadets use was included in the display.

Acro aerobatics copy

Tent at Avalon copy

This year we noticed a difference in the profile of visitors, probably because of our location further from the eating establishments that attract a large but only mildly interested audience. Our visitors were actually looking for us, to talk to people about going gliding. Enquiries seemed much more focussed, visitors often having a background of modelling, hanggliding, or having gliding experience in the past and an interest in returning to gliding. I believe our presence was worthwhile - we talked with some serious contenders, who asked all the right questions and are on track to visit their local gliding club. It was also a great Airshow.

David Goldsmith

The Marketing and Development groups task is to develop strategies and activities to promote gliding and to assist clubs in their own marketing and development activities.   

The Marketing and Development Department of the GFA is responsible for the development of strategies and activities designed to promote all aspects of the sport of Gliding in Australia, and the development and distribution of material to assist clubs and regions to market and promote their activities.

Marketing documents and materials can be found at the Mktg Docs menu item.