The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fiji, Professor Mahendra Kumar, was the guest of honour when more than 80 APTC students graduate in Namaka. Students of the Australia-Pacific Technical College graduated in a big ceremony in Namaka, Fiji, on Friday 21 September.
The chief guest at the ceremony was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fiji, Professor Mahendra Kumar. It was the first time that Professor Kumar, a distinguished physicist, has taken part in an APTC graduation.
The graduation was one of the largest ever held in the five years since the APTC commenced operations. The APTC is funded by the Australian Government and offers Australian-level qualifications at its campuses and teaching centres throughout the Pacific region.
In Fiji, the APTC has teaching centres in Namaka, Rakiraki and Suva and students from all three will be graduating. The Namaka and Rakiraki students have completed their courses in the School of Hospitality and Community Services. The students from Suva have trained in the Schools of Trades and Technology and Hospitality and Community Services.
Students who completed the inaugural APTC Certificate III in Disability program at the APTC's refurbished Gorrie Street centre in Suva in semester 1 this year were also amongst those taking part in the Namaka graduation.
The graduates come from all over the Western Division of Fiji, including islands and the northern area of Viti Levu.
The ceremony was held in the garden marquee and convention centre at the Tanoa International Hotel. The 280 guests invited represented Fijian government and APTC industry partners, graduates' families, staff and students. Student addresses on behalf of graduates was given by Shopan Mala, who graduated Certificate III in Disability Work and Mr Vilimoni Verebula, Certificate III in Carpentry.
Also present were two of the APTC's longest-serving hospitality trainers in Fiji, Mr Douglas Battison and Ms Cathy Joyce, who have taught many of the graduates.