Joint AIS & TDA Media Release


30 April 2020

TAFEs on board in support of elite athletes

A new program will support Australia’s elite athletes to combine study at TAFE with their high level sporting commitments.

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have established the Elite Athlete TAFE Network (EATN), ensuring athletes can access TAFE institutes across Australia for applied education and training, including specialised support.

The program is an expansion of the existing Elite Athlete Education Network and is based on feedback from athletes who were looking for the types of courses TAFEs provide; applied education and skills training that is flexible, utilises online study, and is connected to the career they may pursue outside of their elite competition.

The programs within the Elite Athlete TAFE Network allow athletes to successfully manage the dual tasks of high performance sport and tertiary study at a TAFE.

The AIS has signed agreements with the Canberra Institute of Technology, Holmesglen, TAFE SA and TAFE Queensland, and is working with TAFEs in other states to expand the reach for athletes. Several TDA member dual sector university TAFE divisions (RMIT, Swinburne University, Federation University and Central Queensland University) are also on board as part of the EATN.

“We are delighted to partner with the AIS in this way,” Craig Robertson, CEO of TAFE Directors Australia said. “It’s a natural extension of the way TAFEs operate. They work with all students, whether they are already working or with other commitments in life. TAFEs give the know-how and the industry knowledge for successful careers,” he said.

The AIS puts a large focus on continuous, lifelong learning, and education is an important component of the strategy to support athlete wellbeing through mental health, careers, education, and community engagement initiatives.

“The nature of high performance sport means athletes are often required to relocate during their sporting careers. TAFE is best placed to offer courses that are nationally recognised, online and can ease the burden of moving part way through a course. TAFE courses are also ideal as pre-requisites for many degrees should the athlete decide to pursue higher level qualifications in the future,” said Matti Clements, Director, Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement, Australian Institute of Sport.

TDA welcomes the collaboration with the AIS and looks forward to sharing the success stories and athlete student experiences both in the classroom and on the sporting field.

For more information visit

TDA media contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications, 0412 753 298

AIS media contact: Sarah Browne, AIS, 0402 494 503

TAFE Directors Australia is the peak national body representing 28 TAFE institutes, including six dual sector universities with TAFE divisions.