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Debbie Slade

The Management of Safety in Flight Operations

Debbie Slade was born and raised in New Zealand. She grew up with 2 brothers and followed them into the Scout Association as a Venturer. Through this she had her first flying lesson aged 16 and the thrill of the aerobatics was enough to plant the seed for a career in flying.

She completed a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and worked for a year as an Immunohaematologist before continuing her flying training full time. This involved a move to Australia where she completed all her commercial flying qualifications. She was selected to join the Qantas Cadet program shortly thereafter and after graduation became a Second Officer on the then brand new Boeing 747-400’s.

After transferring to the B767 as a First Officer in 1995, Debbie entered a training role, providing instruction in the simulators for new Second Officers.

Debbie has been a Captain for 18 years –on the B767 for 12 years and more recently on the Airbus A330. She has also spent time as a Training Captain.

Another area of interest is that of Human Factors and Debbie spent many years developing and facilitating Crew Resource Management training.

More recently Debbie spent time as a Base Manager, managing a group of 500 pilots in Sydney.

She is currently the Fleet Safety Captain for Qantas Airlines, which involves overseeing the operational and people safety aspects for Flight Operations. This role sees her providing advice and assistance with operational safety investigation matters, and the identification of safety hazards. This role allows her to maintain and improve the Flight Operations safety culture.

Outside her working life, Debbie is married and a Mum to 2 young boys aged 12 and 14.



Level 2, 128-134 Crown St

Wollongong NSW 2500