Australian Air League
New South Wales Girls Group
The Australian Air League was formed in 1934, in an era when Australian Aviators such as Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, Charles Ulm, Bert Hinkler, Sir Ross and Keith Smith, Nancy Bird Walton (Famous Woman Aviator) and many others were household names and heroes. The first Squadron was opened in Manly (NSW) and the Air League quickly spread throughout that state. In early 1939 the first Squadron was opened in Victoria and in 1944 the first Girls Section was formed. Today the Australian Air League is active in NSW, the ACT, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and is still expanding.
New South Wales Girls Group celebrated its 60th Anniversary on the 22 October 2005 and a celebration lunch was held at the AAL NSW Boys' Group Conference Centre. Among the 52 in attendance were Ms Violet Wade and Ms Jean Mairs, past Commissioners of NSW Girls' Group along with Chief Comr Keith Bridge,       Comr Raymond Bell OAM NSW Boys' Group Executive Comr, Mr Geoff Sadler the AAL History Committee Chairman and Mrs Ilma Nicholson OAM and Girls' Group Patron.
The display of New South Wales Girls' Group memorabilia was very interesting and all who attended enjoyed the experience. As the Girls' Group enters the next decade we will continue to carry the values and traditions of the past and look ahead to a bright and exciting future.
Since the first Girls Squadrons were opened the Australian Air League Girls' Group uniform has gone through few changes with the exception of a quite radical change which occurred in the late 1970's - early 1980's. During this period the uniform was changed from the from the navy skirt and sky blue shirts (shirts were the same as what was word by the Boys' Group) to a sky blue dress. The Officers Uniform changed to the same sky blue dress with the addition of a Navy Blue Jacket, cadets could wear a navy jumper during the colder months.
After a relatively short period of approximately 10 years the decision was made to return to the original uniform, the move back to this took place in the early 1990's. The only difference for cadets when changing back to the navy skirt and sky blue shirts was the exluding of the leather belt. However Officers did not return to the pre dress uniform of navy tunic and skirt, the new uniform for Female Officers was the same lighter blue Uniform now being worn by the AAL Boys' Groups'. This consisted of a box pleat skirt and tunic and the same officers hat that was brought in with the move to the dress.
Bands of NSW Girls' Group
In addition to weekly Squadron parade nights there are several Parades and Reviews conducted during the course of the year and nationally every two years. Some Air League squadrons also have marching bands that compete in competition, as well as taking part in community events and special occasions such as ANZAC Day Parades.
The NSW Girls' Group over the years have had several bands, these include Lakemba, Manly, Blacktown and Ingleburn. The most recent Squadrons to have bands that have competed in street parades, and also at Group and Federal Air League Reviews are Blacktown and Ingleburn. There was a fierce but friendly rivalry between these two bands during the 1980's and 1990's. At the present time there are no bands competing but hopefully this will change in the near future. The Australian Air League - Today
Today the Australian Air League is a national youth organization for boys and girls from 8 years of age and over. There are currently more than 80 Squadrons active in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT, and South Australian, with more Squadrons continuing to open.
It continues to build on the ideals formed by its founders over 80 years ago, to promote an interest in aviation both as a career or as a hobby in the youth of Australia, to provide opportunities to develop good citizenship, teamwork and to develop ingenuity and resourcefulness of members.
The aims and objectives of the Australian Air League include:
* To promote and encourage the development of Aviation in the Youth
* To promote good citizenship
* To promote ingenuity and resourcefulness of its members
* To develop the physical and mental abilities of its members
The League's motto "A Vinculo Terrae" translates into "Free from the bonds of the Earth". This motto contains the very essence of flight into space.