For the past few months, Prospect High School student Riley Kerr, 16, has had to keep his leavers dinner entrance a secret from his school friends.
With dreams of arriving at his celebration dinner in a vehicle that held meaning for him, the student decided to approach the Royal Flying Doctor Service for an unorthodox mode of transport- a flight simulator.
"I've always wanted to take something really meaningful for the community," Riley said.
"I've always wanted to be a pilot and I thought that RFDS does so much for rural and regional communities, I thought it would be amazing if I could arrive in something that raises awareness."
After a tough year with his own mental health, Riley said that he wanted to promote the work that RFDS does to bridge the gap in mental health services for regional and remote communities.
"I've experienced the struggle with it this year, and I wanted to reach out and see if I could give back," he said.
The RFDS is the second-largest airline in Australia and in Tasmania, is tasked by Ambulance Tasmanian on approximately 2000 aeromedical flights a year.
Riley is currently learning to fly planes at the Tasmanian Aero Club next door to the RFDS base and hopes to one day be employed by the organisation.
"It would be incredible to fly for the RFDS," he said.
"My plan for after high school is to go to the Australian Defense Force and then to hopefully go from there and get a career with the RFDS and give back to the community."
Riley said he was overwhelmed by the support he had received and never expected the organisation to rally around his quirky plan as much as they had.
"It's been incredible to know that the organsitaion wanted to help me out, that they wanted to do this for me," he said.
"It's meant a lot."
RFDS Tasmanian chief executive John Kirwan said the organisation had been happy to support Riley's "out of the box" leavers dinner dream and encouraged Riley to apply for a role at the RFDS once he had a few years of experience as a pilot.
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