Flying high as the head of aviation for AACo, Australia’s oldest company

written by Australian Agricultural Company | January 18, 2022

Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) is looking for a Head of Aviation to take the reins and take its aviation division into the next chapter.

When you think of flying, there are few more iconic companies than Qantas. The Flying Kangaroo celebrated its 100th birthday in 2020, making it one of the oldest airlines in the world. Qantas was largely born out of a need to connect less populated parts of Australia to the rest of the country, and it still continues this tradition with many regional centres today. Australia is a big place, though, and the job of connecting remote properties is now performed by a network of private operators and employees of the companies that operate across those regions.

Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) is one of these businesses. At 198 years old, it’s the oldest continuously operating company in Australia. AACo (pronounced A-A-Co) as it is known, was established in 1824 with the help of a British Parliament Crown Grant of 1,000,000 acres in the Port Stephens area of NSW.

Once a business that focused more heavily on sheep, AACo is now a beef and cattle company that exports premium wagyu to 18 major markets around the world. Not only is it Australia’s oldest cattle company, but it maintains one of the largest herds, with around 350,000 head of cattle spread across 26 properties that cover 6.4 million hectares in Queensland and Northern Territory. The properties stretch from the Qld south-east corner near Surat and Dalby through to stations just south of Darwin.

With that much ground to cover, it’s not surprising that AACo has a full-time aviation team. Two pilots operate a Pilatus PC-12, which is used in part to carry employees and cargo longer distances across the network of properties and from the head office in Brisbane. There are also five station pilots, with smaller aircraft that are used for shorter trips between properties or to service towns, as well as for on-station activities like mustering.

Most of the properties have their own airstrips. One of the stations – Brunette Downs, in Northern Territory’s Barkly region was even part of the original planning behind Qantas routes across Australia and to the world.

With such vast distances to cover, AACo would not be able to function without the aviation team. One recent trip included transporting a vet from Brisbane to a property in Queensland’s Gulf Region. The same trip was also used to carry Rapid Antigen Tests to the company’s Queensland properties. It’s essential work.

AACo is a special mix of old and new. It draws on many decades of agricultural knowledge and experience while delivering record results as a modern, premium ASX-listed branded food business, selling beef to some of the world’s best restaurants. This unique blend draws employees from all over Australia, and the world and some have been with the organisation for more than 20 years. AACo prides itself on being an industry trailblazer and is seeking an experienced head of aviation to take the reins and lead the division into the next chapter.

The head of aviation will run the operational side of the aviation fleet and drive the optimisation strategy. You’ll be responsible for the management of all aviation resources, outcomes and planning requirements. It’s a job like no other, giving the successful applicant the chance to see and enjoy parts of Australia that few are able to experience. You’ll directly manage one pilot while mentoring and coaching some of the next generation of Australian pilots.

Australian Agricultural Company has an ambitious agenda and its purpose: We’re evolving together to benefit future generations, drives a desire for positive and lasting change. The company is almost 200 years old and setting itself up to thrive for the next 200 years, both on the wide open paddocks it occupies on the ground, and flying high above them through the vast spaces and great heights in the air.

If you’re interested in further information about this role or working for AACo, please click here or contact [email protected].

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