Posts Tagged Russell Aitken

The Rusty Award

Nick Dower with members of Russell Aitken's family.

On 19 August 2013, 20 people gathered at Renzo’s bar in Melbourne’s Docklands to celebrate the first occasion of what will be an annual award for mentors.

Established by Helinews owner, Nick Dower, as a way of recognising outstanding mentorship within the industry, The Rusty Award was set up in memory of Russell Aitken who was tragically taken in an accident in Papua New Guinea on 5 July 2012.

Rusty worked as an instructor for several years and guided many pilots through their careers.

Nick Dower presented the award to Russell’s wife, Kelly Aitken, in the presence of family, friends and colleagues. He described Rusty as “a fabulous mentor” and said, “His absence will always be felt. He was one of a kind.”

Close friend, Steve Chiodo, delivered a heartwarming speech expressing gratitude for having had such a dedicated friend, instructor and mentor.

The occasion served as an opportunity for Rusty’s family, friends and work colleagues to meet and exchange stories. Family members said, “After over a year of sadness, it was lovely to celebrate Russell’s life and achievements and learn more about the industry and people that he loved so much.”

The award came one week after Russell’s burial and what would have been his 44th birthday.

If you know someone you think has been a great mentor, nominate them. Applications are currently open for the 2013 Rusty Award.

Email rustyaward@niche.com.au with your name and the company you work for and the name of the person you wish to nominate and why.

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