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AAUS Industry Award Finalists – Education and Safety, in partnership with She Maps

We are thrilled to announce that our Lifesaver Drone Outreach Program (LDOP), a collaborative effort between Australian UAV Service (AUAVS) and She Maps, has been selected as a finalist for the AAUS Industry Awards 2024 in the Education & Safety category.


Program Overview

Targeted at Year 5-11 students across the country, the LDOP offers the She Maps comprehensive 2.5-hour Classroom Drone Essentials Course. The program, led by skilled AUAVS Educators, not only introduces students to STEM fields but also emphasizes safety protocols, responsible drone operations, and shows links to real world applications. Since the LDOP’s inception in 2021, the program has reached 39 schools and educated over 900 students.

The program includes 4 different modules;

  1. Real-world application; a 30 minute presentation by a Surf Life Saving UAV (drone) Pilot to show how we use drone technology daily in our jobs.
  2. Drone safety & awareness.
  3. Manual flight; students in teams operate our small training drones to learn basic skills.
  4. Coding; automated flight using block coding to simulate a search and rescue, or generation of an orthomosaic of a town.

The program also touches on unconscious bias around females in the STEM industry, and aims to encourage girls to feel welcome around pursuing a career in STEM.


Safety Objective

The primary objective of LDOP is to instil a culture of safety and responsible drone use among young Australians. Recognising the growing importance of uncrewed systems, the program was designed to address a lack of safety-oriented education at the grassroots level. LDOP’s curriculum encompasses the principles of safe drone operations, risk assessment, and the ethical use of drones, aiming to create a well-informed generation of drone operators. This is crucial in a landscape where drones are becoming increasingly commonplace, ensuring that future operators are equipped with the right knowledge from an early age.


WISE Grant and AUAVS Involvement

Supported by the Federal Government’s Women In STEM and Entrepreneurship Grant, the program extends its reach, particularly focusing on educating young women and catering to schools below the ICSEA median. Showing young women and disadvantaged students how to operate drones safely and appropriately empowers them to further engage in STEM activities and careers. AUAVS team members, including Stuart Jackson and Alexa Bowdich, play pivotal roles in program development, delivery, and evaluation, ensuring its alignment with industry standards and educational objectives.


The Lifesaver Drone Outreach Program by AUAVS, in partnership with She Maps, is a leading example of innovative safety education in the uncrewed systems industry. Through initiatives like LDOP, AUAVS continues to pave the way for a safer, more informed future in uncrewed systems.

If you’d like to learn more about the program or make a booking, please contact uav@surflifesaving.com.au

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LDOP session at Shellharbour SLSC