Pioneering pilot still an inspiration


Aviation Heritage Museum volunteer Brian Farr with Sugar Bird Lady artefacts. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d449707
Aviation Heritage Museum volunteer Brian Farr with Sugar Bird Lady artefacts. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d449707

Nicknamed Sugar Bird Lady, Miller was far ahead of her time when she pursued her passion to qualify as both a nurse and a commercial pilot in the 1960s.

She was given her nickname by Aboriginal children as she distributed Polio vaccine in cubes of sugar to more than 30,000 kids in remote North-West communities over two years.

RAAFA’s Aviation Heritage Museum is hoping to introduce the story of the pioneering aviator to local school children through an art competition open to all school-aged students in the City of Melville.

RAAFA chief executive John Murray said the competition aimed to honour the memory of Robin Miller and the invaluable contribution she made to health in WA, while raising the profile of women in medical aviation.

“Sugar Bird Lady was a pioneer in her field who no doubt helped save many lives through her passionate commitment to vaccination and health in WA,” Mr Murray said.

“The Robin Miller Art Competition will encourage young people from years 1 to 12 to create artworks around the theme of Sugar Bird Lady and women’s contribution to medical aviation.”

To enter, students are required to submit an artwork (photographs, drawings or paintings) to a maximum A1 size.

The competition opens on February 29 and entries close on May 27 at 3pm, with judging in early June.

Prizes will be awarded to winning students in four categories: years 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12, in addition to a prize for the winners’ schools.

Up for grabs in each category is a limited edition silver coin from the Perth Mint and $250 worth of aviation-related books donated to winning schools.