Pioneer Women

Hazel Mayes

Hazel Mayes Hazel Mayes, Australia. Hazel was the first member of WIMA Australia. She was a penfriend of Louise, who asked her to start the Australia division. Hazel has been an aircraft engine mechanic for the RAAF, mother of a daughter and twin sons, "buntruck" driver for Kodak, and president of the Womens Pilots Association. Her first motorcycle was a 1937 250cc BSA.

In the Second World War, she was a volunteer motorcycle despatch rider and later on joined the RAAF, training as an aircraft engineer, a career she loved and excelled in - much to the initial horror of the Flight Sergeant who was put in charge of training women engineers. Hazel and the girls sure proved him wrong!

She was president of the Sydney Women's Motorcycle Club from 1945-51. With husband Bill, a well-known speedway racer, she participated in numerous dirt track speedway races and club sporting trials. Post-war, she rode a Harley for Kodak as a courier until the pressure of "taking a man's job away from a returning soldier" was too great.

Hazel retired from motorcycle riding in 1956 after husband Bill's untimely death. Her other passion, aviation, became another exciting chapter of her life. She also managed, alone, the huge task of bringing up three children. Hazel was guest of honour at the WIMA Worldwide 50th Anniversary Rally in Kiama, Australia in 2000.