It was a momentous occasion for APTC as it welcomed its 15,000th graduate during the Tonga Graduation Ceremony in Nuku’alofa on Wednesday 30 October, 2019.
Palepina Maniana Poi Tonga was one of the 13 Tongan nationals graduating on the day and the 15,000th graduate of APTC. She was awarded a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management (BSB42015) after weeks of strenuous juggling between work, family and training.
Palepina, a single mother who works as an Acting Manager for the Tonga Police Intelligence Unit, shared the hurdles she had to overcome to earn her award.
“It was difficult, not only for me but also my other colleagues, because we have our usual duties and responsibilities at work and at home. Added to that were our studies,” she said.
“It was challenging, but in the end it was all about our commitment towards our studies. With my fellow colleagues we managed to work together as a team to help in each other’s training.”
For Palepina, her inspiration came from her mother to persevere despite the challenges she faced.
“My mother is the person who has always motivated me. I have seen her face many challenges. She is a teacher, and with the big family we have, she always managed to do everything for us. Even with all her duties, she always advised us to do our best in everything,” she said.
In her graduate address, Palepina mentioned that she and her colleagues were part of the first cohort to undertake the training, and expressed her gratitude to the Tonga Police for the opportunity. She also shared how the award will help her become an effective leader.
“APTC training has taught me how to stand up as a leader and manager, and learn techniques that will help me motivate staff to accomplish their goals,” she said.
“Before receiving APTC training, I used to sit back in my office in my comfort zone and continued doing what I always did, but now I am confident enough to step outside it.”
“The knowledge I have gained, will not only help me at work but also apply at home. My parents rely on me to be a role model to my other siblings and this program was a great opportunity for me to learn how to manage and take action in whatever roles I am in.”
With her qualification Palepina hopes to progress in her career with the Police Force, and encourages everyone to continue to strive for better prospects.
“This award is important to me as it will help me achieve bigger and greater things. I urge everyone to take hold of the opportunities that are there, reach out and find a better pathway.”
Palepina was one of 11 members of the Tonga Police Force who undertook the Leadership and Management training.