Molly Whittaker

Molly Whittaker

Stage 2


Hello, my name is Molly Whittaker. I am currently completing Stage 2 of the Hyundai NZ Pinnacle Programme. I am passionate about making an impact through service, aviation, and all things adventure/travel.

I am currently based in Christchurch, studying at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand. I completed my Commercial Pilot’s licence in April 2023, and am currently completing my Multi Engine and Instrument Rating Training. I am President of the Student Representative Board, a member of the New Zealand Air Women’s Association (NZAWA) Executive Committee, and in the Air New Zealand WINGS Mentoring Programme (Women Inspiring the Next Generation).

I am currently completing my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. This has been part of my life for a number of years and includes service, skill, and sport, and provided a great framework for goals. I have completed many service projects, both large and small. I was a volunteer in the America’s Cup in Auckland 2021. Whilst sailing offshore in Fiji during the pandemic, we provided schoolwork for remote villages, completed plastic cleanups and coral replanting. More recently I have been supporting aero clubs, giving talks about aviation to gateway students, work as student president, and executive committee work . Skill development has included marine qualifications, gliding, and aviation. For sport, I have swum competitively at a national level, been a surf lifesaver, and ran distance events.

Pinnacle has helped strengthen and reinforce my goals in both service and aviation and the support from the team has helped me serve more effectively and achieve successful milestones in my life. I have been really grateful for the learning and support I have had in the programme so far. Voyage #805 on the Spirit of New Zealand and Blake Watch #697 at Outward Bound, were both unforgettable experiences, and have helped shaped my understanding of myself, others, and what is important in life. Being part of the Pinnacle family has meant a support network of like-minded people who care, and want to make a difference. It helps me to think bigger, challenge myself. Overall, my goal is to make a meaningful impact.

‘Seek discomfort’ is a quote that I live by. It reminds me to continue to try new experiences, challenge myself in all areas of my life and to take action of my dreams. I have learnt with the Spirit, Outward Bound, sailing offshore (living off-grid), and flying solo cross country - seeking discomfort means getting comfortable with being outside of my comfort zone, this is where the growth is! Feel free to read more about my adventures on my blog:

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