Goals will set you flying
TODAY'S high school students are faced with a range of career options unimagined by generations past.
But the plethora of choice can be daunting and their working lives can seem far away when they are faced with daily grind of classroom assignments and exams.
To help students focus on that all important study Royal Australian Air Force pilot and Kingaroy State High School graduate Oliver Kersnovski said they should develop firm goals.
This is the message he will deliver as guest speaker at his former high school's awards night on Thursday.
"Goals are great," Mr Kersnovski said.
"They help you focus and they give you direction.
"It's hard to study if you don't know what you're doing."
Mr Kersnovski graduated from Kingaroy State High School in 2009 and entered the Air Force the next year.
When the high school asked him to speak at the awards night, he requested to be dropped off in town during a training exercise with a new Spartan C-27J his crews have been working with.
They landed the plane at Kingaroy Airport on Wednesday and opened it to the public.
He said the plane and his role as an Air Force pilot had taken him around the world may times over.
"In the Air Mobility Group, with this aircraft, I've been lucky enough to visit over 30 countries this year," Mr Kersnovski said.
"I've been able to go a lot of places and see a lot of different things."
One deployment required the crew to fly through the mountainous terrain of Papua New Guinea assisting with the island nation's election earlier this year.
"It was very very rewarding to spread democracy," Mr Kersnovski said.
"If you think about Papua New Guinea, it's an island nation but people forget, even though it's so close to Australia but it's one of the poorest countries in the world.
"We helped out a lot, we got to fly the election personnel and materials out to the different parts of the country.
"But flying up there has unique challenges, the weather, the height of of the terrain. The mountains are twice the height of Australia's tallest mountains."
"All of those conditions fit together and they can kill you if you get it wrong."
Mr Kersnovski said he wouldn't have achieved his dream of flying in the Air Force if he had not applied himself at school.
"I've been fortunate enough to fly a range of aircraft and I've met an awesome bunch of people," he said.
"My time at the academy was great, I got to live and train with 300 like-minded people who were there to do the same job as me.
"The pilot course itself was probably one of the hardest things I could imagine.
"The way the training is conducted is to set you for a future flying combat aircraft, it something I could never have imagined.
"To achieve that and be awarded my wings that I proudly wear in my chest every day was a great feeling."