Aircraft model, De Havilland 60G Gipsy Moth in case, wood / plastic / metal / glass, made by Graham Marsh, Australia, 1993-1994
Nancy Bird rose to pre-eminence in Australian aviation as one of the pioneers in the aero-medical aviation. She has maintained her profile in aviation and is regarded as Australia's unofficial international ambassador for women in aviation.
Nancy Bird learnt to fly in 1933 and she had not even turned twenty when she brought her first aeroplane in 1935. After a chance meeting with Reverend Stanley Drummond, the founder of The Far West Children's Health Scheme, Nancy was invited to fly a nursing sister to settlements beyond the reach of the railway.
The Drummond's had developed mobile clinics using modified rail carriages but they could see the potential in starting a flying doctor service of the kind initiated by Arthur Affleck in 1928. The trip was a success and Nancy began working for the Drummond's. From her base in Bourke she flew regular aerial clinic tours with a nurse.
In December 1936 she won the ladies trophy in the Brisbane to Adelaide air race. In 1939 she organised the Wings the World Over exhibition. It was first shown by David Jones Ltd and was such a success that Myer emporium then asked her to take the display to Melbourne.
During the War Nancy was a commandant in the Women's Air training Corps. In 1958 she renewed her licence which had lapsed 20 years before and travelled to America for the Powder Puff Derby, a cross country flying race. She flew in this race three times coming fifth in her first race and becoming the first non-American to win a trophy in the event.
Graham Marsh made this model of one of Nancy Bird's planes and in 1993 Nancy donated it to the Powerhouse Museum.
Nancy Bird, My God It's a Woman, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1995
Blue File, Powerhouse Museum, 96/324/1
Geoff Barker, March, 2007
This model is either a plastic kit or vacuum formed. It represents Dame Nancy Bird Walton's aircraft "Vincere", VH-UTN.