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One of the many great things about the Qantas Group family is that there’s always more to the colleague you’re speaking to than meets the eye. More often than not, there’s a second life or career behind the uniform.

Such is the case with Qantas Super’s new Group A Director Richard (Rick) Garner, who has balanced one career in financial services and another as a pilot for 20 years.

Having begun flying when he was 14, Rick’s first job in aviation saw him work at a charter airline. Working his way up to the senior manager level, Rick’s interest in finance kicked off when he started to get involved in the business aspects of the company, learning about all the different things that go into running an airline.

Encouraged by his boss at the time, Rick pursued further study and eventually qualified as a financial planner.

After almost 10 years focused on his work in financial services, and with some casual flying stints here and there, Rick took a step back after the global financial crisis to re-think what he wanted to do.

“I thought about my flying, and I’d never flown a jet before. I asked myself, if I got to the end of my career without having flown a jet, would I be upset? And the answer was yes,” he said.

Returning to flying full time, Rick spent a five years with National Jet Systems before moving to Qantas, where he’s now a pilot on the A330.

Of course, Rick couldn’t quite let go of the finance work. Throughout this period, a number of Rick’s clients had kept in touch, asking him to help them out with different things. This then led him to set up a financial advice service for airline staff.

“I thought there was a gap in the market for people who deeply understand the particular circumstances that pilots and cabin crew operate under,” he explained.

With all of this in mind, Rick felt he had a valuable mix of skills and experience to contribute when nominations opened for Qantas Super’s new Group A Director, representing technical aircrew. Elected in May 2021, Rick is taking over in the role from Mark Thorpe, who stepped down at the conclusion of his 13 year term.

Rick said, “Along with the family home, superannuation is the cornerstone of people’s finances and retirement, so I hope to be able to make whatever contribution I can to continue enhancing member outcomes.”

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