BRIGHT FUTURES: Western Downs Careers Expo in Chinchilla, on Thursday October 22, 2020. Pic: Peta McEachern
BRIGHT FUTURES: Western Downs Careers Expo in Chinchilla, on Thursday October 22, 2020. Pic: Peta McEachern

Chinchilla student’s goal to be first Aussie female astronaut

DETERMINED and inspired Chinchilla State High School captain Alisha Griffiths has her sights above and beyond, gunning for a highly competitive career in the space industry.

Speaking at the Western Downs Careers Expo, Alisha said she’s not 100 per cent sure which path she wants to go down to get there, but said she’s determined to be Australia’s first female astronaut.

“It would be cool to be able to go to space one day, but that’s a long way into the future, it takes a lot of work to get to that stage - so maybe I will, and maybe I won’t,” she said.

“If I got the chance to do that I would be happy, but you can’t set that in your sights as being the only thing that makes you successful, you have to take the little wins along the way, instead of thinking of it as; ‘if I don’t make it I’m not successful’.

“It’s a pretty difficult industry to get into, it’s very competitive, but if there’s a one per cent chance that I’ll get in - I’ll take it.”

Alisha said she’s always been captivated by space and intrigued about how it changes the human perspective when faced with the magnitude of the universe.

“It’s fascinating, just to look out the window and see the world pouring by – I just find that so cool,” she said.

“A lot of astronauts say that it gives you a new perspective of the world and shows you how we’re all connected.

“I just find it all so interesting, I’d love to be able to experience it, hopefully one day.”

Through a Women in Science Event hosted by CSHS, Origin Energy, Education Queensland, and Zoneta eClub, Alisha said she was given the opportunity to get in contact with the CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, Adam Gilmour, and ended up touring the space rocket headquarters at the Gold Coast.

“Because I’m really keen to try and get into that industry, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to go down and have a chat with the guy that runs the place,” she said.

“I thought about doing some mechanical aeronautical engineering at university, because he suggested that would be a good pathway.

“I’ve also looked into communications - air traffic control, because it would be interesting to work in mission control, so that I’d be there when they launch rockets.

“I think Gilmour are actually trying to promote space flight from Australia, because how many Australian astronauts do you know of?

“I thinks there’s two, and they both had to travel to America, and they were both men, so it would be cool if I was the first woman.”