Graduations always mark special achievement in the life of a student, and the recent Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation ceremony in Tonga was no different.
A total of 40 APTC students were awarded qualifications in 11 programs at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall in Nuku’alofa on 21 September 2016.
APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has graduated over 9,500 students from Pacific Island countries, including over 415 Tongan nationals.
Speaking at the graduation, Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Education and Training, Mr Claude Tupou congratulated the graduates on their achievement towards attaining Australian-standard qualifications.
“Graduands, this occasion is your moment to reflect on your well-deserved achievement and also an opportunity to chart your way forward as you return to professional careers. I am confident that you all are eager to apply your skills and knowledge at your various workplaces,” he said.
“We are indeed grateful to the Australian Government for providing skills training and capacity building for our people through the APTC. This support is helping Pacific Island Countries like Tonga to develop their workforce and improve employment opportunities for their citizens, both nationally and internationally,” Mr Tupou added.
A total of seven women graduated at the ceremony, which included one woman graduating with a trade qualification in Certificate III in Electro-technology Electrician.
In her closing remarks, APTC Chief Executive Officer, Denise O’Brien said that returning to study as an adult required dedication and a little bit of bravery.
“However, each graduate here today has demonstrated that learning is lifelong. The qualifications received will ensure that each graduate can make a positive difference in their workplace, within the family and community”, she said.
The ceremony also included a Fiji citizen who graduated with a Certificate III in Hospitality.
The graduates were trained at various APTC campus locations in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu. APTC also has a campus in Solomon Islands.