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Angela Garvey, Navigating Aviation, works with a team of professionals that work and support colleagues in the field of aviation

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Anna Douglass

Anna has had a love of flying & everything involved in the aviation industry her whole life. With over 30 years’ experience with an Australian International Airline, Anna has worked as a flight attendant, business and first-class flight attendant, safety & service training facilitator, supervisor and now an In-flight Cabin Manager onboard.

Anna has had experience with many aircraft types across her many years. This ranges from Boeing 767, 747 – 200,300 and 400 series, to the SP, along with Airbus A330 – 200/300, and more recently A380 and 787. She has enjoyed working on all of them, but her favourites to date would be the 787 and the A380. And of course the unforgettable and much admired 747-400 Queen of the Skies, will always be fondly remembered too.

 

In March 2020 due to worldwide Covid-19 shutdowns across the globe she experienced the airline industry come to an abrupt standstill. These were uncertain and very stressful times for most. 

 

Not knowing how to find work, keep food on the table and a roof over her family’s head, she set out to complete the Diploma of Counselling she had already started. It was quite obvious that this would be coming in very supportive in the month and years ahead, supporting herself financially but equally all the peopler she could then support. 

 

Being in her 50’s and setting off on a new career path was a challenging time but quite quickly she was working in the Mental Health Sector as a Counsellor and working in Disability Support for NDIS. Anna settled into this new vocation and realised the transferable skills and disciplines from her many years at the airlines were highly valued in other industries, careers and companies . . . .

It was a very rewarding experience and a fast track to working with those with often a fragile mental health state, obviously intensified by the unpredictability and enormous stress of Covid19 restrictions. Anna states:

“I love supporting people to move forward in their life and to not be held back by any hurts, anxiety, depression or self-worth issues weighing on them.”

 

The secret to Anna’s success in her new industry came from a realisation that when working with clients, that no matter who they were, their age, their living environment, or their diagnosis, a common thread was wanting to have connection with others and someone that listens without judgement.

 

After a 2.5-year gap from aviation Anna was asked to come back and facilitate a training program to prepare flight attendants to return to work. Getting to put her uniform back on brought back all the excitement of her first day at work, and she was absolutely thrilled to be back in the industry once again. 

Working with hundreds of Flight Attendants returning to work, she observed and understood, the fragile mental health of many, due to the challenging times we all had experienced. Often there was an underlying frustration and agitation around the uncertainty that lay ahead, as the world was opening up again.

To this day she continues to work part-time in the Mental Health Sector alongside her aviation work, as she values the opportunity to empower and work with clients to move beyond their challenges or any areas holding them back.  

Knowing all too well – the factors of fatigue and long shift work, with sometimes up to 17+ hrs flights and being awake at times 30-35 hours at a time, either due to commuting or diversions and delays, to then arrive home to be a single mother for many years –  the stress and toll this can take on one’s health and emotional well-being.

For many years she had to juggle shift work, life and parenting including family commitments which at first burnt her out for years. Consequently developing an auto-immune condition she had all the reasons in the world to believe being exhausted and jet-lagged was just a part of her working life. However – this is certainly not the case today as after 30+ years of flying she now works with more vitality than she had in her early 20’s. 

How did this change happen?

It was no magic pill that made it happened overnight but rather it was a step-by-step consistent process of making choices to reduce unwanted behaviours and following supportive and simple routines that quickly began to change the quality at work, life in general and how she parented.

As first responders we cannot afford to have an 'off day' as our vitality, physical and mental well-being impacts the effectiveness of our performance, for the business, for the public and all team members, especially in potentially life-threatening situations.

Anna now brings a wealth of lived experience based on how her life changed through making different choices to support her mindset, body and vitality to be able to work long shift hours and minimise the impacts on her health and well-being. She loves supporting others to also be able to change, share her wisdom on this topic and bring awareness no matter what the struggle is. She supports many to also work with vitality and purpose. She is very practical and real in her sessions and presentations, with a genuine and authentic approach.

 

Anna is available for coaching/counselling on many subjects, however she has a particular interest in the areas of:

  • Dealing with jet-lag

  • Dealing with difficult customers or team members

  • Managing time

  • Navigating shift work rosters 

Get in touch to discuss how Anna can support you to declutter life’s turbulence, and letting go of any unwanted excess baggage.

“Once we shift the way we work, you will be amazed at what is possible”

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