Blogs (Media Centre)

Career change a whisk in the right direction for TAFE NSW student

TAFE NSW Campbelltown

In his twenties, David Brennan completed a Certificate III in Landscape Construction at TAFE NSW. Now at the age of 53 he’s back in the classroom studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW Campbelltown.

David had owned his own landscaping business for over 25 years when he decided it was time to follow his passion for cooking and pursue a career as a chef, an occupation that is forecast to see 81,000 job openings within the next five years.[1]

“My role as a landscaper was very physical and as I got older I found it to be a bit too physical to maintain every day.

“I had always been very interested in cooking and really enjoyed TAFE NSW when I studied landscaping so I gave them a call to see what courses were available.

“I discovered there was a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations at TAFE NSW Campbelltown that I could enrol in, so I did and I loved it so much I enrolled in the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery the next semester.” said David.

Proving that you can learn new tricks at any age, David is thriving in the state of the art kitchen facilities at TAFE NSW Campbelltown.

“I really love how hands-on the course is. On Thursday’s we get to cook for paying guests in the training restaurant at TAFE NSW Campbelltown which gives me a taste of what it’s like to work in a real commercial kitchen.

“One week we got to serve 90 entrees, mains and desserts for an event, it was full on, but it was great experience and really taught me how to plate up a well presented, delicious dish on a deadline.”

Impressed by David’s passion and talent, TAFE NSW Head Teacher, Amanda Good said, “It’s wonderful to see students like David coming to TAFE NSW to follow their passion. The Certificate II in Kitchen Operations taught him the basics of food preparation, process, storage and service in the kitchen and he’s now developing those skills further with the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, which is teaching him how to plan and create beautiful food that is served to paying customers”

Not ready to stop learning, David plans to continue to develop his skills at TAFE NSW so he can start his own business and relaunch his career.

“My plan is to retire out of Sydney and open my own café. Before that, I’m planning to explore some more of the courses that TAFE NSW offer, like the Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery or maybe the Certificate III in Asian Cookery for something different. Who knows the world is my oyster.”

To find out more about studying Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media Officer, mobile 0412 478 415,