The Committee & Staff

The HGFA currently has approximately 3,000 full members drawn across the three disciplines. About 15 to 20% of those members participate in competition with the remainder involved as recreational participants. Australia currently has approximately 8 world record holders. Australian companies are leading manufacturers of hang gliders and microlights.

The HGFA is administered by a volunteer Committee.


Role Name State Rep Email Other Contact Info
President Matthew Smith
Vice President Rob Woodward SA
Secretary Mark Rossi
Treasurer Brian Webb 0417 530 972


Board Member Chris Noye
Board Member Peter South WA
Board Member Phillip de la Hunty NSW
Board Member Iain Clarke Tas
Board Member Mark Pike Vic
Board Member      
Board Member      
To email all committee members, please use


Role Name Email Other Contact Info
General & Operations Manager Brett Coupland

0417 644 633
Project Officer Peter Allen

Office Manager Melinda Goullet
(03) 9336 7155
Office Staff All (03) 9336 7155
Sky Sailor Suzy Gniest  

Postal Address & Phone No:

Hang Gliding Federation of Australia
4C/ 60 Keilor Park Drive, Keilor East, Vic 3033

Phone: 03 9336 7155

ABN: 15 276 389 269


The sport began in Australia in 1963 with delta wing kites being towed behind speed-boats. Australia was a leader in the development of the sport internationally. In 1970 the first Australian Championships were held for towed delta wing kites and around that time the first foot launched flight occurred in Australia. The Australian Self Soaring Association (TASSA) was formed by foot-launched pilots in 1974. Tow kiting remained a part of the Australia Water Ski Association - Kite Flying Division (AWSA-KFD). The first foot launched Australian Championships were held in 1976 and separate boat-tow launch championships were held until the early 1980s.

The first world championships (foot launched) were held in 1975 and Australia won 1 gold medal and 2 bronze medals.

In 1978, TASSA (which was seen in some States as being a 'New South Wales' organisation), was reorganised to become a proper national body, with its members being the State Associations which in some cases, had been formed prior to TASSA.

Also in 1978, in response to Federal Government insistence on having one body controlling all hang gliding activities, the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) was established, having two members – TASSA and AWSA-KFD. By 1979, the name ‘TASSA’ was changed to The Australian Hang Gliding Association(TAHGA). At this stage, individuals still belonged directly to their State Association.  By about 1980, with boat-towed hang gliding having virtually disappeared, the AWSA relinquished any involvement with hang gliding. Subsequently, TAHGA was wound up and its place taken by HGFA – with State Associations as its members.

In 1991 a new constitution was adopted by which individual pilots joined HGFA directly.

Soaring parachutists began launching from hills in Australia in approximately 1982.  Paragliding with purpose built paragliders became popular in the late 1980s and instruction in paragliding commenced in around 1989. Weightshift Microlights were developed in the late 1970s. Each discipline is now represented by the HGFA.


The HGFA is charged with maintaining the regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

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