COLLECT AND PRESERVE ALL ASPECTS OF AVIATION HERITAGE WITH
ON AUSTRALIA AND QUEENSLAND
AND TO EXHIBIT THE COLLECTION FOR THE EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL
OF THE COMMUNITY.
Brief History of the
Queensland Air Museum
Air Museum had its beginnings in 1973 when a group of aviation
enthusiasts who comprised the Queensland Branch of the Aviation
Historical Society of Australia decided to "put their money where
their mouths were" and do something about preserving Australia's
aviation heritage by purchasing a Canberra bomber. The fact that
the fledgling museum had no suitable site to display such an aircraft
was not allowed to stand in the way of their enthusiasm!
As a result of the considerable media publicity which followed,
the Canberra was moved to the new "Pioneer Valley Park" horse-drawn
vehicle museum at Kuraby where it was placed on display at the
invitation of the Hunter family. The Canberra was officially unveiled
on 2nd June 1974 thus inaugurating the Queensland Air Museum.
Almost exactly one year later, the collection doubled in size
with the arrival of Meteor WD647. The Museum's second aircraft
acquisition was in complete contrast to the first in that it was
an outright gift from the British Government, whereas the Canberra
had to be purchased from the Australian Government. The Meteor
was destined never to join the Canberra at Kuraby, for sadly "Pioneer
Valley Park" closed, and QAM found itself thrust into a nomadic
existence which was to last for another 10 years! It is a lasting
tribute to the members involved that the Museum survived the tribulations
In May 1977, the Canberra was moved to a leased site at Lower
Nudgee where it was later joined by the Meteor, Sea Venoms WZ910
and WZ898 and Vampire A79-828. With the development of the new
Brisbane Airport floodway, QAM had to go, and after much anguish
and lobbying, the aircraft were moved to a "temporary holding
area" on Brisbane Airport in April 1980. During QAM's occupancy
of this site, the Canberra featured in a much-publicised extortion
attempt against Trans-Australia Airlines. Although local Department
of Aviation officials were sympathetic towards QAM, the Minister
of the day had an apparent personal vendetta against the Museum
and exorbitant rental demands effectively led to QAM's eviction
from Brisbane Airport.
The resultant publicity came to the attention of Landsborough
Shire Councillor, John Harrison, who persuaded the Council to
facilitate QAM's relocation to Caloundra. The offer of a modern
hangar type building on Caloundra Aerodrome was too good to refuse,
and the Canberra, Meteor and two Sea Venoms were transported to
Caloundra on 14 June 1986. By this time, only the Meteor was ready
for display, so a band of local volunteer members set about preparing
the collection for an opening ceremony on 4 April 1987. The fact
that a respectable display was ready on schedule is a tribute
to the members involved. The official opening of the Museum was
performed by Mrs. Ly Bennett, wife of the late Air Vice-Marshal
Don Bennett of "Pathfinder" fame who had been QAM Patron until
his death in September 1986. Ly Bennett graciously agreed to assume
the role of her late husband until her own death in October 2000.
The road leading to the Museum has been officially named Pathfinder
Drive in honour of the Pathfinder Force founded by Don Bennett.
A second, much larger display building (Hangar 2) was officially
unveiled on 3 July 2004.
An extension to Hangar 2, The Allan Vial Path Finder Force
Annexe was officially unveiled on 16 August 2006.
In September 2006, Mr Allan Vial, DFC OAM OPR (Pol), Life President
of the Path Finder Force Association in Australia graciously agreed
to become Patron of QAM.
On 17 May 2008, Hangar 2 was officially named as The Dick Hitchins
Memorial Hangar in memory of QAM's founding President.
QAM's library storage building was officially named The Dunoon
Building on 5 November 2008 by QAM's Patron Allan Vial.
VIEWS OF THE QAM CALOUNDRA SITE
traditional landowners of the Sunshine Coast region
the Gubbi Gubbi people.
images are linked to larger versions)
The Queensland Air
Museum Inc was formed as a not-for-profit society in June 1974.
Initially incorporated under Letters Patent, QAM was re-incorporated
under the Queensland Associations Incorporation Act 1981 Section
17 on 2nd April 1998 (Incorporation Number IA19198).
QAM operates to a constitution approved by the Queensland Department
of Fair Trading.
The Museum is registered for GST (ABN 88 760 302 357).
Donations to QAM in excess of $2.00 are allowable deductions for
Financial accounts are audited annually by an approved auditor.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in aviation. The
volunteer members bring to the Museum a wide range of skills in
business administration, aircraft maintenance and various trades.
There are no paid staff.
Nothing in the QAM collection is owned by an individual member.
The entire collection is deemed to be held in trust for the community.
The Museum attracts visitors from all states of Australia and
from overseas. Annual visitation recently reached 12,000.
QAM is an approved recipient institution under the Commonwealth
Government's Cultural Gifts Programme.
bank details are:
Air Museum Inc
Account No. 149594467
(Please state clearly in the reference what the payment is for)