Creating Skills for life

Alumni Spotlight

Get to know our alumni and read about their experiences, achievements and how their training at APTC has helped them in their careers.

Contact the Alumni Coordinator to share your experience and success story.



Barnabas Ali_1

Barnabas Ali

CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating, 2013

APTC Alumnus Barnabas Ali is an entrepreneur from the Malaita province in the Solomon Islands.

Despite being born deaf, Ali is applying the skills he learned at APTC in a painting and decorating business that he owns and operates.

Where some may only see the disability, Ali breaks down these barriers by offering persons with disabilities a different perspective on how Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can lead to employment pathways for all.

Ali’s father was a painter and this influenced his career path. He graduated from APTC with a (CPC30611) Certificate III in Painting and Decorating and his business portfolio has expanded to include renovation and joinery work. 

“My dad was a painter. When I was a kid, I would follow him around to learn about his painting skills and knowledge. He encouraged me and my three brothers to paint.  He told us to use our eyes and hands to see and learn things.”

Ali knew that despite his disability,  he could still master the skills imparted to him by his late father who he thanked for teaching him and nurturing his interest in painting.

“Even though our father died, I already know how to do painting, and I’ve been to places doing painting work. My brothers also paint. Currently, I am an entrepreneur with a painting, decorating, renovations, and joinery business and I commend my dad for his skills.”

Through his business, Ali offers job experience opportunities for other deaf members of the Solomon Islands Deaf Association as a pathway to gain work experience that would support them in their application to study at APTC. He encourages them to work through their fear and seek further training with APTC  and other TVET institutions that offer training for persons with disabilities.

“I want to encourage persons with disabilities, women and young girls, what you are good at, go for it. I know we have different types of disabilities, but capitalise on your ability and build on it. For example, I am deaf but I capitalise on my eyes, hands, and legs to build my skills in painting and decorating.”

“I am unable to speak, and it is really hard for me but I continue with my training, and I am determined that I can do it. Now I am strong and confident to do the work an able person can do.”

Ali started his education journey with Red Cross and later went on to Makira for painting and joinery. He returned from Makira to study Carpentry with San Isidro Care Centre. He then went on to APTC and completed the (CPC30611) Certificate III in Painting and Decorating course.

Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has trained more than 2,100 Solomon Islanders with vocational skills and qualifications.

APTC strongly encourages women, persons with disabilities and those based in rural and remote areas to apply.


APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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