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Kucki’s story is an adventure filled with fascinating twists and turns. Transcending adversity, long odds and the deep-routed gender biases of the day, she followed her passion to become South Africa’s first female Airline Pilot.
Nothing about Kucki’s early history could have predicted her future trailblazing. Born in post-war Austria, she immigrated with her parents to Namibia, on the south-western tip Africa in 1953. The tragic death of her mother at 17, followed closely by the death of her father, catapulted her into the “real world”, forcing her to fend for herself. The experience cemented her determination to live her dreams, to follow her passions, and to achieve them no matter the obstacles in her path.
Her connection to the family’s photography business set her on a path with destiny; an offer to shoot a late-afternoon coastal sunset from the passenger seat of a small Piper 140 aircraft ignited her passion for flying. Thrilled by the exhilaration and joy she experienced, she became determined to learn to fly, and 5 years later in 1973, aviation history was made when she qualified as the first female Commercial Airline Pilot in South Africa.
After nine years of flying and close to four thousand flying hours, she left her career behind and started a new life with her husband and son in Vancouver, Canada.
Her autobiography, “This is Kucki, Your Pilot Speaking”, catapulted her into a speaking career. She has featured as a keynote speaker at multiple international conferences, including ‘African Women in Aviation’ and ‘Leadership Development in Aviation Africa’, and was a nominee for the prestigious ‘Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government’ award. In addition to her philanthropic work as President of the Vancouver, Women’s Rotary Association, she has been featured in numerous television, radio and print appearances.
Today, she transports audiences on a new and powerful journey, showing them how to move from the passenger seat to the captain’s chair of their own story. Drawing on her own life experiences for illustration, she invites the audience to fly with her as she demonstrates how to use joy as a compass to uncover purpose and passion, and clear their flight path towards living a successful, happy and fulfilled life.
At turns funny and engaging, other times illustrative and directive – but always overflowing with humility, positivity and possibility – she leaves audiences worldwide feeling empowered to confront and overcome their own obstacles. As she would say, “If I can do it – anyone can!”
After an hour with this pint-sized dynamo, you too will be ready to let your life soar!
Finding your Flight Path: Living Your Life with Passion and Purpose.
All of us aspire to an exciting and fulfilling life – the difference between those who achieve it, and those who simply dream about it, is the ability to conquer the self-limiting beliefs which stand in the way of the life of your dreams!
Drawing on her own ground-breaking life experience for illustration, Kucki works with audiences to uncover:
- How to identify the “golden threads” of joy which hold the secret to passion and purpose
- How to re-frame obstacles and harness the determination required to overcome them
- How to identify key mentors who can support your vision
- How to step out of your comfort zone with confidence and trust
- How to develop an attitude of gratitude, live life to the fullest and love the journey!
Thank you for your beautiful inspiring talk and presence at our 1st Annual ForeverGreen Women’s Conference. As you know, many hearts were moved, and lives impacted by your story and your inspiration. I would LOVE to have you back to our next Women’s Conference.
– Lorene Davies, ForeverGreen Women’s Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah