Sir Norman BrearleyPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris Abbott

The sculpture commemorates Sir Norman Brearley (1890 - 1989), for his contribution to the development of aviation in Australia. 

Brearley was born on 22 December 1890 at Geelong, Victoria and moved to Perth, Western Australia in 1906. In April 1915, after undertaking a 5-year apprenticeship as a mechanic, Brearley worked his way to the United Kingdom and subsequently enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and trained as a pilot. On the Western Front, he was posted initially to No. 6 Squadron, but transferred to No.29 Squadron, where he flew Airco DH.2 scouts. However, in November 1916 he was shot down and badly wounded, with bullets perforating both lungs: he landed in no man`s land, but managed to crawl back to Allied lines. He returned to Western Australia to recover. He subsequently returned to Britain where he became a flying instructor, initially at Gosport and then as commander of the school of special flying at Lilbourne.

Following the end of hostilities, Brearley bought two Avro 504 aircraft (plus a spare engine), which he had shipped to Australia. In 1921, he founded Western Australian Airways Ltd., based at Geraldton. In the same year, he was issued with Australia's first civil pilot's licence, under the 1921 Air Navigation Regulations. 

In 1927, Brearley opened the Perth Flying School at Maylands. He retired from commercial aviation in 1936 when he merged his airline with Australian National Airways. Brearley later served with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War 11, commanding No.4. Service Flying Training School at Geraldton from October 1942 to March 1944. Brearley was knighted in 1971. He died on 9 June 1989.


Address:Airport Drive, Perth International Airport, Public Observation Deck , Perth Airport, 6105
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.941114
Long: 115.973438
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Gerald Darwin


Front Inscription

C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., A.F.C., F.R.Ae.S.
Pioneer Australian Aviator

This Sculpture Was Jointly Unveiled By The 
Federal Minister For Aviation The Hon. Wal 
Fife M.P. And The State Minister For Transport
The Hon. E. C. Rushton M.L.A. On The 22nd, 
October 1982 In Recognition Of Sir Norman 
Brearley`s Outstanding Contribution To The
Development Of Aviation In Australia.

Sculptor : Gerard Darwin F.R.B.S.

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au