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RNZAF to Mark Anniversary with Historical First

Queen’s colour party led by Flight Lieutenant Rebecca Cosford practice for the RNZAF’s 78th anniversary service in Wellington today (1 April 2015)
Queen’s colour party led by Flight Lieutenant Rebecca Cosford practice for the RNZAF’s 78th anniversary service in Wellington today.

1 April 2015

For the first time in history, five women will parade the Queen’s Colour at the RNZAF’s 78th anniversary service in Wellington today.

Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Mike Yardley says: “This is a first-time occurrence for our organisation – and it’s just one of the ways we’re consciously building and defining the RNZAF we want in 10 years’ time.

“To bring about a more inclusive workplace and to have the diversity we want, we sometimes need to challenge the old norms and traditions.

“Consciously choosing to have airwomen lead this aspect of this year’s RNZAF anniversary is one way we can recognise individual skill and leadership potential, while highlighting the organisation’s diversity goals and keeping these goals at the forefront of people’s minds.

“Right now, you see women represented across all roles within our Air Force. Our goal is to increase that representation and to be recognised as a leader in workforce diversity.

“It’s only fitting that we reflect on this goal – among others – as we look back and commemorate 78 years, while looking ahead and thinking about where to next.

Central to today’s anniversary ceremony is the parade of the Queen’s Colour – a silk flag presented to the Air Force by Queen Elizabeth II during a royal visit to New Zealand in 1953. 

Parading the Queen’s Colour only ever occurs on the most significant Air Force occasions and in honour of the Queen and the Royal Family.

The role of the all-women Queen’s Colour Party officially signals the importance the Air Force places on women in leadership.

ENDS

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