Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) alumnus, Serena Zinzowheat is a pastry chef at one of the largest hotels in Papua New Guinea.
Serena recently graduated from APTC with a Certificate III in Tourism.
Serena has always had a burning passion to promote tourism in her home village of Birimon in the Kabwum District. She hopes the professional skills and experience she is gaining in Port Moresby can help educate others back home.
“My village has so much potential to be a great tourist destination. We have beautiful scenery, birds of paradise and an abundance of delicious vanilla and coffee. However, tourism has not progressed in my province as it is not equipped with the resources and skills to cater for visitors.”
Looking ahead, Serena plans to return to her home province of Morobe.
“I want to learn as much as I can about hospitality and tourism in different sectors to take this knowledge back home and share it,” she says.
“My dream is to open a guest house in my village where people from all over the world would come and stay.”
Serena says that since starting her studies at APTC she has acquired many valuable skills.
“The things that I learnt during my time at APTC are invaluable. It is a great course for students who want to enter the hospitality workforce; it is practical and hands-on and has accelerated my professional development.”
“I am so privileged to have received an APTC certificate and I am even more determined to use it to make a difference in my community,” said Serena.
Serena strongly encourages Papua New Guineans to pursue a career in the tourism sector.
“Tourism is so important to our country; many local businesses heavily rely on the revenue from visitors. Additionally, Papua New Guinea has such a unique culture and beauty that should be appreciated worldwide.”
“Whether you are educated or not, whether you are a man or a woman, skilled or unskilled, working in tourism and hospitality is a great way of gaining professional skills and experience and an opportunity to help build tourism in our country. Believe in yourself, put your fears aside and go for it like I did.”
Papua New Guinea hosted the APEC Women in Tourism Dialogue on 28 May in Port Moresby as part of APEC Tourism week. The dialogue included talks on opportunities for women to tap into the potential of the tourism sector. The discussions focused on policy priorities such as giving women leadership roles to encourage female participation in the tourism sector.
Papua New Guinea has an abundance of opportunities for tourism, and Australia is working with the Papua New Guinea Government to strengthen tourism nationwide. APTC is contributing to enhancing these opportunities.
APTC is funded by the Australian Government and delivered in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea. APTC is the Australian Government’s major investment in Technical and Vocational Education Training across the Pacific with campuses in five countries – Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands – and delivers internationally recognised qualifications in tourism and hospitality.