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Achieving the Engineering Dream!

Have you ever thought of becoming an engineer for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)? Dan Perrett has just completed his apprenticeship in Engineering (Cert IV in Aero skills - Avionics) through Aviation Australia in Cairns. He achieved this after five years of dedication and hard work.

After completing a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Dan worked as an engineer for a few years before he decided to take a backpacking trip through PNG. As part of his trip he visited some friends who were working with MAF and attended a Bible Translation Dedication Service. Dan grew up in a Christian home and through the service and seeing the impact it had on the remote community, Dan sensed that God was calling him to mission. He met and married Shannon, and together they attended Bible College. They were unsure where they were meant to go with this calling to mission, but as Dan had an interest in solar power, they joined Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF) in PNG and worked there for over six years—Dan as a technician and Training Coordinator and Shannon as the Financial Administrator.

In 2014 the Perrett family returned to Australia and Dan began to think about his future. He says, “I had always been a bit of an aeroplane nut and had an interest in electronics.” One of the MAF Human Resource team who was aware of Dan’s skill and experience, asked him to consider the possibility of joining MAF Mareeba as an Avionics Apprentice. So in January 2015 Dan began his apprenticeship journey. 

The apprenticeship is split into two parts:

1. Study/exams is taken in blocks from one week to several months at a time depending on the size of the subject matter. This can be done in the classroom in Cairns or by self-study.

2. Schedule of experience – is a journal of all the work carried out in the hangar and comprises of 20 different competencies.

Dan remarks, “I found the exams challenging as there was a lot of material to work through. MAF apprentices work toward a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) license as well as a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) license. This enables them to work in as many countries as possible, as MAF has a presence in 30 countries worldwide. This is a unique opportunity to gain both licenses, not provided by many employers. 

He explains, “I am very relieved that I have achieved my apprenticeship! I particularly enjoyed being able to work on program aircraft and am grateful to the engineers that took the time to invest in me and mentor me.” Photo: Dan working on VH-WLX (Cessna 182).

As for the future, Dan plans to stay in Mareeba for stability for his children’s schooling. He is currently an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME), which includes looking at project management and trouble-shooting, and is working towards his Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) qualification. He would very much like to provide program support, particularly in PNG, as he already has knowledge of the language and culture there.

Dan also has a passion to help others. He explains, “My heart is to invest in people and I would very much like to be part of mentoring and training others during their engineering apprenticeships”. At present there is a worldwide shortage of engineers.

If you would like to explore the idea of an engineering apprenticeship through MAF, please go to the “Work With Us” page on our website: or email us at:


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