2022 Maurice Little Trophy Awarded to

Soaring Club of Tasmania

The Soaring Club of Tasmania (Gliding Tasmania)


The Soaring Club of Tasmania (Gliding Tasmania) is the only gliding club currently operating within Tasmania. The club’s role is to facilitate all activities of gliding in Tasmania, including ground and air training, introductory visitor flights, and cross-county flying.

In 2018, the Woodbury Airstrip was officially closed to gliding operations.  The Soaring Club of Tasmania (Gliding Tasmania) had to move due to changes in agriculture at the Woodbury gliding airfield and they were required to move premises by the end of 2018.  Gliding Tasmania had been active at Woodbury since 1973 with wonderful support from the Headlam family.

The committee worked tirelessly on moving the club forward and trying to find an appropriate alternate airfield and we were kindly allowed to continue operations at the nearby Tunbridge Airfield.

The committee believed in the future of the club and the value to the wider community that the club held. As such they applied to the both the Tasmanian Community Fund and the Department of Sport and Recreation for financial support of a portable bathroom unit at the new airfield.

As they were unlikely to secure any grants for a hangar, fundraising was undertaking with the use of the Australian Sports Foundation to help with the hanger and relocation expenses.  Members dismantled the existing hanger and reassembled it at Tunbridge Airfield.  Working Bees were extensive to get everything transported and assembled at the new site.

In June, 2018, as progress was made for the move to Tunbridge Airfield, a Communities Grant from the state Department of Premier and Cabinet (Minor Grants Program) which funded up to 50% of the cost for providing facilities for public use in a range of sport and recreation facilities. This gave them the opportunity to build a new bathroom facility.

They also suffered a set-back with their Pawnee suffering an engine failure which took some time to be repaired and at considerable cost. The Pawnee tug has since had a new reconditioned engine and is now flying again

The relocation, repairs to the tug and with no operations for some time depleted club resources and they are also to be commended for their fundraising efforts through the Australian Sports Foundation.

To continue with their ongoing development, Gliding Tasmania ran an Open Day on March 20th, 2022 and it was a great success.  There were 25 visiting aircraft and one helicopter from all over the state and an estimated 150 visitors in attendance. Five aircraft and 7 visitors from the Wynyard Aero Club also attended.  Highlights of the day included the opening ceremony of the new hanger by the Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council, Mayor Mary Knowles OAM, and an address by the President of Gliding Tasmania, Reg Marron, the visit from 3 warbirds flying in formation, and approximately 20 trial instruction flights on the day.  There was also plenty of free BBQ food and drink for all visitors on the day.

Gliding Tasmania is only a small club but they have grown their membership significantly over the last 3 years since their relocation from Woodbury. They love their new gliding site especially with the potential for wave flying if an agreement with CASA is reached which will allow for greater potential for cross country flying.

The incredibly significant effort by all club members to keep gliding active in Tasmania is to be highly commended. As the only last remaining gliding club in Tasmania it has been an incredible feat and a testimony to all the club members and hard-working committee to have the will and determination to keep going to preserve this unique sport in the State of Tasmania. A most most deserving recipient of the Maurice Little Memorial Trophy.

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