Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture

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Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture


2017 speaker: solo aviator Lachie Smart

The 2017 Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture will be presented by Lachie Smart, an entrepreneur and world record breaking aviator. Lachie’s story shows what can be achieved when you aim high and have the courage to back yourself.

In August 2016, at just 18 years of age, Lachie Smart returned from an epic around-the-world aviation adventure that made him the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single engine aircraft.

Born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Lachie always showed a tendency towards achieving high goals.

Learning to read young meant an early start to school at Nambour Christian College, where he graduated at the age of 16.

The final leg - Darwin to The Sunshine Coast

Lachie dreams big. While most of his peers worried about their allowance and getting a driver’s licence, Lachie raised almost half a million dollars to fly around the world – solo.

In 2012, Lachie joined the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) and quickly worked his way up to a leadership position, instructing other cadets in several areas.

2012 was also the beginning of Lachie’s aviation training, thanks to a trial introductory flight out of Caboolture airfield.

At the age of 16 Lachie went for his first solo flight under the supervision of Aero Dynamic Flight Academy at Sunshine Coast Airport.

Not long after, at age 17 Lachie achieved his Private Pilot’s License, as well as his instrument rating and a number of other endorsements.

He’s 18 years old, going on 35, and I’m here to tell you – watch this space – Susan Johnson (The Courier Mail)

Completing his journey at the Sunshine Coast Airport in 2016, Lachie had achieved more in his 18 years than many achieve in a lifetime.

Lachie’s simple message is that with a bit of planning, anyone can achieve anything.

Alongside his achievements in academics, music and aviation, Lachie is also a keen sportsperson and has played local and representative soccer for more than 10 years.

The Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture will be held at The Innovation Centre, USC, Thursday 6 April.

About the Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture

The Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture is held annually in honour of Shadforths Civil Contractors co-director Geoff Shadforth.

The event honours Geoff’s memory within the Sunshine Coast community, and aims to continue his passion for creating growth and opportunities for the Sunshine Coast.

Geoff died in 2013 at the age of 35 while preparing for a charity motorcycle ride in Cambodia.

Now in its fourth year, this hugely successful lecture series has seen high-profile Australians share their personal stories, challenges and triumphs right here on the Sunshine Coast.

It is a rare opportunity to hear what inspires some of our most successful politicians, CEOs and entrepreneurs, along with everyday Australians who have achieved something extraordinary.

Previous speakers

Hon Julie Bishop MP

The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered the annual Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture in 2016.

Her address described how Australia can better position the domestic economy to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in an evolving Asia.

Gerry Harvey

Mr Gerry Harvey, Chairman of retail giant Harvey Norman was guest speaker in 2015.

An audience of 340 joined luminary and entrepreneur, Gerry Harvey as he shared what he had learnt over a lifetime of building an iconic business.

Wal King AO

Wal King AO, former CEO of Leighton Holdings Ltd, drew on over 40 years’ experience within the construction industry to share insights into the industry and the opportunities and challenges it will face in the future in the inaugural Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture.

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