HeliJen Australia

The future of flight – Flying across Australia without an aeroplane

The Company We Keep is a column on the CN&CO blog that profiles some of the most interesting people in our networks. Here we share the details of the lives of people we know, showcasing the extraordinary diversity of our society and proving that people truly are at the heart of everything we do. In this feature we decided to share the story of Jennie Bewes or “HeliJen” as she is known to many.

Jennie’s connection to CN&CO is through Carel Nolte. Carel met Jennie while attending TED a few years back and has stayed in touch. If you follow the CN&CO blog you will know that we visit TED.com regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. TED also reminds us to dream big and to see how we can connect the dots.

Jennie – or ‘HeliJen’ as she has become known – is big on discovering, and activating your passion, whatever that may be… even if this involves pushing the limits and searching to find a way to fly across a continent.

Her interest in air travel was born in 2016 during a helicopter trip in Maui, the power of flight captivated her. Returning to Australia after the holiday, she started her pilot’s licence and shortly after this began her own flying journey as a helicopter pilot.

Through the years Jennie found she missed some of the creativity from her corporate job, where she worked with big brands and ideas. Feeling an urge to keep exploring she began doing some work with NASA on the “future of flight” and, through her research, discovered the jetpack.

Naturally, Jennie likes to dream big and so set her sights on a feat that no one has accomplished before… Her mission? To be the first person to fly across Australia without wings – in a jetpack – setting a Guinness world record by doing so. 

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Proud to be associated with Netflix and Over The Moon – a beautiful animated movie that features a determined girl with a passion for rockets and the determination to build and fly her own to the moon …and discovers a far deeper reward in the journey, than the success of the mission itself. #soundsfamiliar 🥰 All scenery in this video was from the very fun shoot in the helicopter I flew a few weeks back. #livingthedream 🚁🤘 . Yup, dreams really do come true when you dare to take them on. 💪 . // ON NETFLIX NOW // Worth watching knowing that author Audrey Wells – a mother with terminal cancer – wrote this movie as a parting gift to her husband and daughter. . Her message: to use the power of imagination, and embrace the unexpected, in order to move forwards and grow. ❤️ . Audrey sadly died in 2018, before the movie was completed. I might’ve shed more than a few tears while watching, thinking of her daughter receiving this beautiful gift 😭 . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Huge gratitude to all involved:- 📽 @netflixanz 📽 @OverTheMoonMovie 📈 @lady.hamilton & Lucy 🎞 @TheCarrotCollective 🎥 @bencookphoto & Davo 🎬 @supermarkart & Ace 🚁 @specialist_helicopters 🎞 Greg @afa.film . #defyimpossible #DareToBelieve #OverTheMoon #Netflix #movie #kidsmovie #familyfilm #iJETPACK #jetpackpilot #worldrecord #helicopterpilot #femalepilot @pearlstudioanimation #humanityprevails

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A feat like this is bound to have its challenges, it’s not just as simple as strapping a jet engine to your back and pressing a button. COVID-19 has also thrown an extra spanner in the works. With the pandemic forcing her back to Australia she had to find a jetpack that was designed for women and continue her training. She also has to map out a route from Perth to Sydney, which at this stage she estimates will take roughly ten weeks as she travels in bunny hopping style in five-minute increments using the jetpack.

Determination is a word that comes to mind when one thinks of this story and it is exactly this that connected Jennie to the character of Fei Fei in Over the Moonthe new Netflix film that follows a young, science-obsessed girl who decides to build her own rocket and fly off to the moon. Fuelled by memories of her mother, resourceful Fei Fei builds a rocket to the moon on a mission to prove the existence of a legendary moon goddess.

Jennie jumped onboard to help promote the movie. She hopes that kids out there who watch the movie – and who read more about her own journey as she attempts to fly across Australia – are inspired simply to pursue their dreams. “I don’t want to set any sort of benchmark and say ‘this is what you need to do’,” she says, “it’s more about finding your own journey. Find your own passion. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you come up with: that’s not failure, that’s learning. My own kids are now almost grown up – they’re 18 and 20 – but my hope for them is that they get things wrong and keep trying.”

Read more about her journey here. We will be following this future of flight journey closely and you can too, by following ‘HeliJen’ on social media to keep up to date with the latest developments as she builds up to the trip in late 2021.

Check out the Over the Moon documentary on Netflix here.

Speaking of Australia, one of our founding partners, EasyEquities, recently launched in Down Under, extending its vision to democratise share ownership onto the global stage. EasyEquities has had a jam-packed 2020 with many exciting developments and partnerships. You can check out its Australian offering HERE.

Looking for a “how to guide” to get your Aussie account up and running? Read this blog.

For more CN&CO stories to help you grow your business and lead your best life, follow us on @cnandco.

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