The APTC Alumni chapters are involved in many community service events throughout the Pacific and at a recent meeting of the PNG Alumni Executive the committee agreed to participate in events marking World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011. The Alumni chapter chair Elsie Maino said it was important for the students to give something back to the community in addition to sharing their skills and knowledge learnt while studying at the APTC. This way, Elsie states, the APTC's legacy can extend beyond technical education and training into areas such as community health and community development.
Given the vast geographical spread of PNG and the fact there are APTC alumni members in every province and located in distant places such as Kokopo and Rabaul it is difficult to find a convenient time and location for the executive members to meet let alone a wider group APTC alumni. This difficulty has not been allowed to shadow the enthusiasm for the alumni to stay in contact and it was a great pleasure for the director of the school of hospitality and community services, Anthony Bailey, to join their meeting in October at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby. Elsie works in Tabubil and during a return visit to her home town she was able to convene and chair the meeting.
The meeting began with an update from Elsie on earlier alumni activity and then moved to items of general business and discussion. One of the items raised by alumni chapter member Allan Kae was the possibility of establishing alumni chapters outside Port Moresby for students living in places such as Lae and Madang. The response of the other alumni chapter members was very positive and this initiative will be discussed further with the CEO of the APTC Mr Barry Peddle. Present at the meeting was the recently appointed PNG country manager for the APTC Mr Trevor Birney. Trevor welcomed the opportunity to meet with the alumni chapter and hear their news.
The chapter discussed several ideas for participating in World AIDS Day activities and Trevor provided advice and direction about organisations who might be able to assist the chapter with donation of goods and items to be distributed on the day. At the conclusion of the meeting Elsie thanked Trevor and Anthony for their attendance and congratulated Trevor on his appointment as country manager and said she and the chapter executive looked forward to establishing a close relationship with Trevor in his new role and promoting the wider aims of the APTC.