Queensland Voices Jacinda Cottee Pilot Women in Aviation Champion

Queensland Voices: Jacinda Cottee, Women in Aviation Champion

Jacinda Cottee was the first woman of colour to wear the Qantas Pilot Uniform, flying passenger jets. She is fiercely driven to inspire girls and women to pursue their passions, especially in aviation. She quotes that Qantas has just 5% female pilots, while Air India has 13% female pilot participation. With Queensland’s heavy reliance on aviation, Jacinda believes more is needed to support women currently in the industry, and to inspire future generations of female pilots.

After encountering an catastrophic engine failure and ending up with PTSD, Jacinda was inspired to complete a Mental Health First Aid accreditation. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science, and writing a book on Pilot Wellness. Jacinda also works with the Australian Federation of Air Pilots as one of their Welfare Representatives.

Through her career, she has observed the importance of the statement “She can not be what she can not see”. She is a Queensland flight instructor, volunteers at aviation career days for girls, mentors and speaks in schools to encourage girls and women to learn, achieve and thrive in the world of STEM.


Being part of a crew that successfully landed an aircraft in Brisbane after encountering a catastrophic engine failure 70nm (nautical miles) west of Roma and looking after my crew post event. I have successfully handled two engine failures in under three years.


Having lived on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns and worked all over the state I’ve had a unique insight into all that Queensland has to offer.

Through flying into the communities, I observed the richness of talent of our indigenous artists. Flying all over the state throughout the year, I became acutely aware of the challenges that remoteness and the wet season can bring. Highlighting the vital nature of aviation in making this state function efficiently.

The diversity of environment which should be preserved; flying over Princess Charlotte Bay or seeing the wild flowers after the rain near Mt Isa. Truly spectacular sights to behold.

But above all, how Queenslanders band together in a crisis. It is through this heartfelt community spirit that I truly love Queensland.


Walking through terminals throughout Queensland and having carried out charter operations through the Gulf and Cape regions; people still stop me to congratulate me at how proud they are to see female pilot, let alone one of colour. My response is the same “Action Inspires Action – You can achieve your dreams too. Be the best possible human you can be.”

You never know who is watching. If I can show my nephew that female airline pilots are the norm and not a rarity, what an amazing world can be created. By demonstrating to my niece what possibilities are out there for her to chose from, a more diverse and strong world is created in knowing that she is supported.


Queensland is built by amazing Queenslanders. Every day women in Queensland are taking action to make Queensland safer for women, to help women’s health and wellbeing, to build women’s economic security and to increase women’s participation in the workforce and female leadership. Femeconomy is showcasing 20 women from across Queensland that are delivering the Queensland Government’s Women’s Strategy. 

Queensland Voices


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.