The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) celebrated the achievements of 13 Solomon Islanders at its graduation ceremony in Gizo on 9 March, 2018.
It was a special moment for 11 women who were also the first group of APTC students to graduate with Certificate IV in Leadership and Management from the Western Province in Solomon Islands.
APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government that provides Australian-standard skills and qualifications across a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
Since 2007, APTC has trained over 12,000 graduates, including more than 1390 Solomon Island nationals. Of these, over 130 have undertaken Leadership and Management training, with 84 of this group being women.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Premier of Western Province, Honourable Malloney Lopoto commended the women on taking up the challenge to educate and upskill themselves.
“For sustainable development, we will need good leaders for proper decision-making. I am pleased that these graduates have been equipped with the strong leadership and management skills that can make a difference in our Province,” he added.
Honourable Lopoto hopes to see more participation of women in decision-making at the provincial level. He thanked the Australian Government and APTC for supporting women’s empowerment and development in the Western Province.
The Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Michael Hassett, also congratulated the women on their achievement, and encouraged them to seek out leadership roles in their community. He added that creating opportunities for women and girls to reach their full potential was a key priority for the Australian Government.
Two male Certificate III in Carpentry students also received their qualification during the graduation ceremony.
Apart from Gizo, APTC held graduations in Honiara and Auki last week. More than 130 Solomon Islanders graduated from these three ceremonies.