Swetman Aviation Education Fellowship Awarded

Published at 10:32 pm Fri, 23rd o Dec 2016

Swetman Aviation Education Fellowship Awarded


Wednesday 18 May was a special day for Morley Senior High School student Dakota Colborne, who was awarded a $3000 scholarship administered by the Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association (WA Division) Incorporated. 

The Swetman Aviation Education Fellowship was established in 1994 by Flight Lieutenant Ronald Charles Swetman DFC, DFM, RAFVR (Retd) and is financed through the Ron Swetman Trust with the aim of to fostering aviation education and interest among youth in Western Australia.

17-year-old Dakota was one of four candidates who applied for the award, with the judging panel commenting: “Dakota immediately impressed the panel with his relaxed confidence and enthusiasm whilst also exhibiting a well-roundedness with academic achievement, Air Force cadet involvement, his interests in sport and music, and, of course, his family.”

Dakota, was also recently awarded the Minister for Education’s Aviation Scholarship for his academic achievements and commitment to aviation, and said he was extremely humbled to receive this latest fellowship.

“I’m feeling really overwhelmed to be awarded the scholarship; this is very much a new experience for me and I’m incredibly determined to put it to great use,” he said.

Following on from the scholarship presentation, Dakota was also awarded a new laptop computer, thanks to RAAFA’s IT partner Ricoh.

About Flight Lieutenant Ron Swetman, DFC, DFM

As part of Bomber Command in 1942, 97 Squadron RAF operated Avro Lancasters in a low level daylight attack on the MAN diesel engine works at Augsburg, Germany, and in the 1000 bomber raids on the German cities of Cologne, Essen and Bremen.  In April 1943 the Squadron joined Bomber Command’s Pathfinder Force as a “marker” squadron leading bomber groups to targets.

Ron Swetman served in 97 Squadron between September 1942 and December 1943 as a flight engineer.  He completed 61 operations, the highest number in 97 Squadron during World War 2.  He was commissioned, promoted to Flight Lieutenant, and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Flying Medal.

After the war he maintained a passionate interest in aviation and generously encouraged young people with similar interests.  In retirement he resided on RAAFA’s Air Force Memorial Estate at Bull Creek where he died in 2001.

Ms Brigid Tait -Teacher, Aviation