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Piloting his own course to career success

Monday 29 July 2019

Nori Mullen is embracing the flexibility of the SACE to fulfil his ambition of becoming a commercial pilot.

Austin Wilson

Web Content Display (Global)

Nori Mullen is embracing the flexibility of the SACE to travel from city to country to fulfil his ambition of becoming a commercial pilot.

For one week every term, the Year 11 student undertakes the trip from Woodcroft College in Morphett Vale to Mid North Christian College in Port Pirie to participate in the college’s aviation program while staying with a local host family.

“I asked my parents to find out about doing some sort of aviation course and they found this one,” Nori says.

“We went up to the open day to have a chat and then we had a discussion and I decided to do it.“I’m really interested in flying aircraft, being a commercial pilot.”

Conducted over a two-year period the aviation course – available to any student who dreams of working in the aviation industry – provides Years 10 and 11 students with 40 SACE credits and helps them gain invaluable insight into the aviation industry.

“I’ve got about six hours of flying time with an instructor at Port Pirie,” Nori says. “The first time was pretty nerve racking but I enjoyed it once I got into it a bit more. We’ve covered climbing and descending smoothly, knowing how to control the aircraft, taking off, radio communication, climbing and descending turns, and touch and go – it’s pretty fun.”

Back at Woodcroft College, Nori is also studying modern history, English and geography, with a view to adding maths to his list of studies in Year 12. He admits dividing his time between Woodcroft and Port Pirie does put demands on his studies but says the rewards are worth the effort. 

“I do miss out on a lot of school work so it’s hard to catch up sometimes but I do catch up so I’m still glad I do it,” he says. 

“And the schools are supportive of me doing this. It’s great that with SACE I have the flexibility to do this.”

After completing Year 12 and his SACE, Nori plans to go on to university studies before realising his dream of taking to the skies and travelling the world. 

“I’d like to fly to America:  it’s one of my dream countries I’d like to go to,” he says. 

And he is confident of employment opportunities in his chosen field: “From what I’ve heard, there’s been a significant drop in the number of commercial pilots so airlines are looking for more. It’s a difficult path to work towards but worth it when you come out the other side.”