The Australia Pacific Training Coalition witnessed its 23rd graduation ceremony on Friday 5 April, which saw 188 students graduate with certificates in various technical and vocational courses after completing six months of training.
54 graduates were female – a significant increase compared to previous years.
Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Bruce Davis, congratulated the graduating class and encouraged them to strive in their fields.
The High Commissioner particularly acknowledged 12 women who graduated as qualified tradespersons in traditionally male dominated trades: light vehicle mechanical technology, air conditioning and refrigeration, engineering, plumbing and construction.
“The Australian Government recognises that gender equality and women's empowerment are essential to Papua New Guinea's economic and human development, and we will continue to engage with the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership to promote gender equality,” he said.
Mr Davis said the PNG-Australia Partnership focuses on inclusive economic growth, with targeted investments in private sector, health and education.
The High Commissioner encouraged the graduates to be positive role models and contributors to PNG’s growth and development and he commended APTC for providing leadership opportunities for Papua New Guineans.
APTC provides technical training including education support, commercial cookery, tourism, hospitality, leadership and management courses.
More than 2900 Papua New Guineans have graduated from APTC since its establishment in 2007 and the number of female intakes continue to increase each year.
APTC delivers training in 14 Pacific island countries from its campuses in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.