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TAFE NSW helps Kane's dreams take flight


TAFE NSW helps Kane's dreams take flight

DREAMS ON HIGH: TAFE NSW graduate Kane McLennan, pictured with Leslee Habermann, credits TAFE NSW with helping launch his career as a pilot.

From the moment he first witnessed a jet roaring above his head as a child, Kane McLennan had a singular dream – to become a pilot. But that dream hit turbulence in his senior schooling years when he struggled with the discipline and theory of the HSC curriculum.

Kane left school in Year 11 and took an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic, but his long-held dream of a career in the cockpit gnawed away at him.

Knowing he needed an ATAR to be considered for entry into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Mr McLennan chose to enrol in a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation at TAFE NSW Albury, a unique bridging course that arms graduates with an ATAR equivalent.

Mr McLennan thrived in the more independent and practical learning environment, and is now a flight instructor with Expanse Aviation and well on his way to a dream career in the RAAF.

“I always wanted to be a pilot but like a lot of teenagers, I probably didn’t have the maturity at high school and also couldn’t really relate what I was learning back to real life,” he said.

By then in his late 20s, Mr McLennan said the learning environment at TAFE NSW was a “revelation”.

“The teachers all had so much industry experience – our English teacher had been a journalist; our science teacher had worked as a biologist – and they were able to relate what we were learning to the real world,” he said. “They treat you like an adult and it’s just very different from high school.”

Mr McLennan emerged with an impressive ATAR equivalent of 83, and is midway through a series of recruitment interviews to join the Air Force. He is also gaining his commercial pilot’s licence as a back-up.

As students in NSW prepare to sit their HSC exams later this year, Mr McLennan offered some sage advice. “Don’t stress too much, there are plenty of post-school options available,” he said.

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Belinda McKinnon, said “Considering the range of fee-free training opportunities available, such as the NSW Government Smart and Skilled and Fee-free apprenticeships initiatives, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in industries with employment and career progression opportunities.

“TAFE NSW offers flexible study options, including online with TAFE Digital, which means students don’t have to travel to study, can work part-time and complete a certificate, diploma or degree at their own pace.

To enquire find out more about the range of study options at TAFE NSW call 13 16 01 or visit