In early 2016, Zonta Brisbane’s Advocacy Committee began lobbying the Brisbane City Council to commemorate Australia’s greatest woman flyer Lores Bonney as part of the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade. Following this consultation with the Zonta Club of Brisbane and with the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, the Brisbane City Council announced that the new Kingsford Smith Drive riverside promenade and cycle path would be named the Lores Bonney Riverwalk. The Riverwalk was opened on 22 June 2019.
The naming of the Lores Bonney Riverwalk places our very own Australian aviatrix in the forefront of Australian aviation history, inspired by US hero Amelia Earhart. Lores Bonney learnt to fly at Eagle Farm airport in a de Havilland DH-60G Gipsy Moth biplane. Lores was a quiet achiever but her achievements in the 1930’s speak for themselves.
- 1931: First woman to circumnavigate Australia by air
- 1932: First woman to fly from Australia to England
- 1937: First person to fly from Australia to South Africa
For her Australia-England flight, Lores Bonney was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire by King George V. The Bonney Trophy, which she presented in England, is still awarded annually to an outstanding British female pilot. World War Two interrupted her flying and Lores relinquished her licence in 1948.
Lores Bonney retired to the Gold Coast, Queensland where she lived for another 50 years. She died on 24 February 1994, aged 96. Tributes to the aviatrix flowed with The Royal Queensland Aero Club mounting a fly-past and Parliament of Australia acknowledging her role in the development of Australian and international aviation.