The sky is the limit for University of Southern Queensland (USQ) aviation student Jamie Zammit. The Ipswich father-of-two and aspiring pilot was presented the Jeppesen Pilot Scholarship at the 2018 Regional Aviation Association of Australia National Convention on the Gold Coast last week.

Jamie said flying is something he had always wanted to do, but he thought his dream was out of reach. “USQ has not only allowed me to follow my passion, but has given me the confidence and support through my lecturers to continue growing, learning and overcoming those speedbumps that sometimes get in the way.”

With the scholarship valued at $7500, Jamie will put the money towards his studies and to help offset the costs of his aviation training. “I’m stoked. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” Jamie said. “It means I can concentrate on my studies and it gives me a safety net to continue my career and academic ambitions. It’s quite humbling to know that my hard work and perseverance has paid off, and that there are people out there who believe in me and are willing to support me financially.”

Having not set foot in a classroom for more than a decade, Jamie enrolled in USQ’s Tertiary Preparation Program – a free course for anyone who hasn’t studied for some years or want a helping hand into university study. Now in his first year of a Bachelor of Aviation at USQ Springfield, the mature-age student said he was determined to make his childhood dream come true. “I’m also very lucky I have a supportive wife who has stood beside me the entire way. We have two beautiful children and I want them to realise that if you want to achieve something in life, you have to work hard for it.”

USQ Head of Aviation and Logistics Professor Paul Bates said Jamie was a worthy winner of the Jeppesen Pilot Scholarship. “Jamie is one of the hardest working students I have met and his dedication to his studies and passion for flying makes him the perfect recipient of this scholarship,” Professor Bates said. “He has all the attributes and qualities to be a great pilot and should be commended for never giving up on his dream. I congratulate Jamie and look forward to seeing how his career progresses.”

Jamie is close to obtaining his Commercial Pilot Licence having completed almost 200 hours of flight training.

Readers also enjoyed this story on Golf for Farmers.