Flight Lieutenant Angela Swann-Cronin was the first Māori woman to become a pilot in the New Zealand Air Force and this morning she became the first Māori woman to speak at the dawn service held at Ōhinemutu, Rotorua.
Flight Lieutenant Angela Swann-Cronin (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata) says, “To date I'm the only Māori women pilot. I do some public speaking just to encourage our youth, encourage women that they can be anything that they want to be.”
Swann-Cronin spent 12 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Born and bred in Rotorua, she retired from the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2009.
“As a service person, I was involved with international deployments all over the world and from that strong feeling I knew that I could relate to people who are frightened by wars however the war that I was in was quite different.”
The inspiration for her ANZAC address focused on a soldier's sacrifice in the line of duty.
“Coming together being united as one I think it's a really strong impression that you get here today that people are finding ANZAC day as more a day to celebrate 'Kotahitanga'.”
Flight Lieutenant Swann-Cronin is now a pilot for Air New Zealand and is based in Rotorua.