Diploma of Nursing

Brendan Key

Brendan Key returned to studies after working in the Australian Defence Force where he experienced working with Aboriginal communities and gained inspiration to start a new career in remote healthcare.


A career change at a mature age can sometimes be daunting, especially when you’re juggling family commitments on top of it. But the Bendigo TAFE Diploma of Nursing graduate accomplished it in style.


The high achiever was not only Bendigo TAFE’s Student of the Year; he was also a finalist for the Victorian Vocational Student of the Year as part of the Victorian Training Awards. Currently employed within the highly sought after St John of God Healthcare graduate program, Brendan has his dreams set on becoming a mental health nurse in remote Indigenous communities.


“I chose nursing due to my previous employment as a chef and medic on submarines within the Australian Defence Force for 10 years. Six of these years were in the Royal Australian Air Force where I was fortunate to be part of Operation Outreach. I lived in Aboriginal communities conducting child health checks and aided in further healthcare where necessary. This founded my passion for remote area healthcare as I noticed a huge deficit in these communities,” he said.

Brendan said that juggling studies alongside working and looking after four children “wasn’t easy” but his experience at Bendigo TAFE was ultimately highly rewarding.


“I decided to take the vocational approach so that I could get the fundamentals and gain experience before going on and furthering my education. Bendigo TAFE offered an excellent variety of resources and support for all students, with current best practice techniques, highly approachable staff and limitless online resources to aid in studying as well as more conventional methods within their library setting,” he said.


“(It was) a very rewarding course full of support from the teachers and the TAFE. You are industry ready – by the time you finish your course you are ready to work.”