John Duigan (OB 1901)
John Duigan was the first Australian to build and fly his own plane. Just seven years after the Wright brothers made aviation history, Duigan built his plane in a shed on the family farm at Kyneton and in July 1910 lifted off and remained airborne for seven metres. There would be more planes and gradually he flew a distance of two kilometres and at a height of 18 metres. In World War One he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery, in the Second World War he served in the air force. A full sized replica of his plane hangs proudly in the Melbourne Museum.
John Duigan, posthumously inducted into the BGS Hall of Fame.
Media Release - BGS celebrates a significant milestone in Australia’s History
On July 16, 1910, John Duigan (Old Boy 1901) flew an aircraft for a distance of about 8 metres at his family’s property at Mia Mia (near Kyneton) Victoria. He was the first Australian to design, build and fly a powered aircraft. 100 years later, to the day, this aviation milestone was celebrated in Mia Mia with the Governor of Victoria Professor David de Krester AO unveiling a commemorative plaque at the site in front of some hundreds of people followed by a viewing of a newly built flying replica bi-plane at the Mia Mia football oval. Two Year 8 boys Max Vulcan and Jack Langan, the Director of Development Natalie van Wetering and Bequest Manager Peter Toms travelled to Mia Mia to represent the School at this important event. John Duigan (junior) nephew of the original John Duigan was delighted to meet the boys as was the Governor, the Mayor of Bendigo and several members of the local community. Jack and Max were interviewed by both ABC news and Channel 9 news but unfortunately weren’t included in the final story that went to air.