Travel – whether for work or play – was a given for decades. We became effortless in jumping on and off planes and heading into meetings in different states. Nothing excited us more than spending weeks planning our next overseas adventure. 

When it all came to a screeching halt last year with global passenger traffic falling by 65.9% as compared to 2019, the largest year-on-year decline in aviation history, the travel and aviation industry had to look for ways to get idle planes off the tarmac.

In this Business and Finance Spotlight hosted by RSM Partner Nadine Marke, we hypothetically adopted an aviation theme and explored the journeys of businesses and individuals who have navigated headwinds to thrive.

  • We heard the story of Flight Centre, from Chairman Gary Smith - how the $19 billion dollar business, founded by two vets from Queensland in the early 1980s and today has more than 30 brands.
  • We also spoke to dual Olympic gold-medal swimmer and world champion Bronte Campbell OAM about the daunting flight she’s been on as she opened up about her time at the Tokyo Olympics, her third Olympics.
  • We finished with a candid presentation from experienced former CFO and now RSM Partner Craig Amos who has taken many companies through transformational journeys – he shared lessons he’s learnt from taking calculated risks.



“Soaring high: Lessons from the top”

Gary Smith | Chairman, Flight Centre

It all started with one double decker bus in 1973 – and over four decades has grown into a $19 billion dollar business with company-owned operations in 16 countries. Gary will share Flight Centre's growth story and challenges including how this tumultuous period has gone for the company with having to lay off 4000 of its 10,000 staff and close 330 of its 740 stores. 

This session was facilitated by RSM Partner Steve Healey.



“More than a flight of fancy”

Bronte Campbell | Olympian

It has been a long, challenge-ridden and dangerous journey but as Bronte will say, every mile was worth it. Bronte is a Malawian-born Australian competitive swimmer, dual Olympic gold medal winner and world champion. She made history alongside sister Cate in 2012 becoming the first Australian sisters to compete in the same swimming event at the Olympic games. She is also a member of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics world-record breaking 4x100m freestyle relay team.

This session was facilitated by RSM Partner Anthony Smith.



"Getting ahead: Taking calculated risks"

Craig Amos | Partner, RSM

Craig is RSM’s newest Partner. Part of Corporate Finance, Craig specialises in corporate M&A and capital markets advisory services. Craig has over 20 years' experience, both as an adviser, and as CFO of both ASX listed and private companies. Craig will share lessons from his own CFO and advisory journey, highlighting what he’s learnt along the way.

View Craig's profile here.