Issue 6
Tuesday, 07 August 2018
Charles Darwin University
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks (right) with “Qantas bid” delegates in the Red Centre
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks (right) with “Qantas bid” delegates in the Red Centre

Desert Lantern flying high after Qantas thumbs-up

By Patrick Nelson

If there’s any truth to the proverb “the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach” then Alice Springs could be the front-runner for Qantas’ proposed $20 million pilot academy.

CDU’s Director Central Australia Lyle Mellors said the delegation that visited Alice Springs recently gave high praise to the university’s Desert Lantern Restaurant experience.

“The entire delegation singled out the Desert Lantern function as the ‘best food’ they have had at any of the sites they have visited around Australia,” Mr Mellors said.

CDU staff prepared and served cheese and cold meat platters and a selection of cupcakes and scones made in the training kitchen, and coffee freshly brewed at the barista bar.

A team of technical staff last month met with the NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan, Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks and others as Qantas assessed the suitability of the nine cities shortlisted for its academy, due to open next year.

Professor Maddocks said that CDU was excited to be part of the pitch. 

“This is a great initiative rich with possibilities and CDU is delighted to be supporting the NT Government, recognising the enormous potential benefits for Central Australia and Qantas.

“The NT has been part of Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services) since it took to the skies almost 100 years ago. The NT is part of Qantas’ DNA,” he said.