Personnel in the spotlight

10 April 2024

One Australian Public Service employee, four aviators and six units were recipients of the Chief of Air Force (CAF) Proficiency and Leadership awards, presented during the 103rd birthday celebrations of the Air Force. 

These annual awards acknowledge and recognise the outstanding performance and achievements of Air Force personnel and units over the previous year.

CAF Air Marshal Robert Chipman congratulated the recipients and highlighted the outstanding efforts the award winners displayed in their service to the Air Force. 

“Tonight we celebrate our aviators who have gone above and beyond, who have embodied Defence’s values of service, courage, respect, integrity and excellence, and who have epitomised what it means to be a member of the Royal Australian Air Force,” Air Marshal Chipman said. 

“Your high standards, your commitment to excellence, your pursuit of more, is shaping the ready, resilient and resourceful Air Force we need to be to meet the challenges of our times. I have no greater ask of today’s aviators.”

Corporal Kbora Ali received the Enlisted Aviator of the Year Award, recognised for her excellence and service. This added to her recent suite of awards after being named the 2024 The Advertiser Woman of the Year by The Advertiser newspaper, and also winning in their Rising Star category. 

Corporal Ali joined Defence in 2016, serving first in Army and later in Air Force. She became a UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador in 2022.

“Throughout my ADF career I have had some incredible opportunities and being presented Enlisted Aviator of the Year is such a huge honour,” Corporal Ali said. 

“I am committed to continue learning and developing myself as an aviator and giving back to our ADF.”

The award presentation and Air Force birthday evening reception were held at the Australian Defence College in Canberra. 

Award recipients: 

APS Team Member of the Year: Benjamin Fraser, Air Force Training Group

Enlisted Aviator of the Year: Corporal Kbora Ali, Directorate of Personnel – Air Force

CAF Instructor of the Year: Flight Lieutenant Dominic Byrtin, School of Air Traffic Control 

WOFF-AF Instructor of the Year: Corporal Daniel Turner, 1 Recruit Training Unit

SQNLDR WT Riggs Trophy: Corporal Samuel Miller, 464 Squadron

Unit award recipients: 

Air Force Association Trophy: Headquarters Air Academy

Awarded for proficiency and contribution by Force Element Groups and Wing Headquarters 

Duke of Gloucester Cup: 35 Squadron

Awarded to the most proficient flying squadron 

Hawker Siddeley Trophy: 27 Squadron

Awarded to the most proficient unit with primarily whole-of-base functions 

Markowski Cup: Australia Canada United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL)

Awarded to the most proficient specialist support unit 

RAAF Maintenance Trophy: 11 Squadron

Awarded to the most proficient Air Force maintenance unit in recognition of their engineering and technical excellence 

Stonehaven Trophy: School of Air Traffic Control

Awarded to the most proficient training unit 



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