Faiz Kamuludin

Alumni stories

Faiz Kamaludin

NSW: Where your career can take flight

Faiz is an alumnus from Malaysia who graduated from Civil Air Training Academy, Cessnock and the University of Newcastle in 2011. He speaks English and Malay and lives in Taiwan.

Why did you choose to study this course? 

When I was 18, I decided I wanted to become independent and study abroad. I applied for a cadet pilot training scholarship recommended by my friends. I researched aerodynamics and flight theory and even visited the Malaysia Airlines HQ in Kuala Lumpur to get a copy of their financial report, which was invaluable for my final interview. I knew the directors, routes, destinations, aircraft types. And I was excited to land the scholarship and set off for a small town called Cessnock in NSW that would change my life forever. 

Why did you choose NSW? 

The beauty of NSW chose me! While most Malaysian cadet pilots are sent to local flying schools in Malaysia, I was lucky enough to land my scholarship there. I’ve been a city boy my entire life. So as soon as I arrived in the beautiful countryside of Cessnock, I was in awe of the landscapes, vineyards, and vast open spaces  


Tell us about your experience  

It was life-changing. I lived with my fellow cadets in the Cessnock airport area dorms, which were a bit out of town. I remember fondly cycling our only bicycle to town to rent videos for the weekend, soaking in the beauty of the countryside. We loved the lifestyle of having barbecues and playing soccer and cricket. We loved the easy access to the public library, community centre and swimming pool. Sometimes we’d head to Newcastle for the nightlife and beaches.

What was the highlight? 

Getting to know people from all walks of life. The local flight instructors, lecturers, cleaners and chefs, who even welcomed us into their family homes in Sydney during public holidays. I also made friends with the pharmacist, librarian, supermarket cashiers, and many local friends in town. Especially those staying in community homes at the edge of Cessnock. NSW folk are a friendly bunch. 

What is the best way to develop a social life in NSW? 

Start interacting with lecturers, students, university staff, and surrounding communities. Be friendly, conversational and a good listener. Get a genuine vibe from your surrounding community. And don’t forget to have fun! 

Did you work with employers or industry groups? If yes, how did it benefit your career? 

In NSW, I was doing community work to promote the knowledge of science to schoolchildren in Malaysia. My projects comprised rocketry workshops in urban and rural schools in Malaysia. The University of Newcastle awarded me the Alumni Award for Regional Leadership. I’m grateful for this recognition as it has helped me get more grants to develop community programs and innovative digital platforms. I believe community work is about connecting with people and kids. When I returned NSW to accept my award, I used the opportunity to share my experience with students from Merewether High School in Newcastle. 

Where are you working now? 

After 24 years with Malaysia Airlines, I’m now working with China Airlines in Taiwan. And a brilliant network of talented people help me run global initiatives like Spacevio, a consortium to help Malaysia’s space community international expansion. 

As the University of Newcastle’s Malaysian Alumni Chapter president, I’m working collaborating with organisations from the United States to sustainably support marginalised communities. Projects include supporting orphanages, recycling and entrepreneurialism. 


Can you share any career advice for students or recent graduates? 

 I learned a lot from making mistakes. It can be costly and time-consuming but provides real-life experience and sharpens your soft skills, especially in communications and the ability to influence networks. Your career is what you make of it. You can strive to excel in your chosen field and sometimes also in other non-related industries. Never be afraid to put yourself out there in deep waters. You may not achieve your desired outcome, but it is the process that will benefit your growth.  

Do you remain involved in NSW? 

 Yes. I’m heavily invested in University of Newcastle projects that will benefit NSW. Working with the Alumni Relations team, I support their strategic plan to bring social change that will help the local community and encourage potential students to choose NSW as their study destination. I believe in achieving targeted social goals through innovative digitalisation of platforms. This will provide a better user experience for students, graduates and the local community. We must also be dynamic and consider making sustainable social changes. It’s a shared vision, and I believe everyone can help realise it. 


Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

 My time in NSW has shaped me into who I am today. I am forever indebted. Thank you.