Creating Skills for life


Castaway Island staff first aid training

Jan 04, 2012

Resort staff learning First Aid on Castaway Island, Fiji, found that bad weather gave them a taste of the conditions in which their newly acquired skills would be needed.

Rain or shine the show must go on, as professional performers say. In this case the "show" was learning about First Aid. And when and where could be more appropriate for such a study than on a rain-soaked Pacific island as a cyclone bears down?

A group of 31 food and beverage staff from Castaway Island Resort on Qalito Island in the Manamucas, Fiji, are currently completing their Certificate III in Hospitality Operations with the Australia-Pacific Technical College, the teaching institution funded by the Australian Government through AusAID. An essential element in the course is learning how to apply First Aid.

As First Aid teacher Mark Tregurtha noted, this was timely training indeed, taking place as torrential rains came down that caused disastrous flooding in parts of western Fiji.

The fact that students had to bunker down as a potential cyclone headed their way underlined the "real life" relevance of the training, which includes both theory and practical application. Students described the course as "very rewarding" and said they appreciated the opportunity to take their newly acquired skills back to their home villages.

Knowing how to administer First Aid is necessary for people working in hospitality anywhere but in a region prone to cyclones it is particularly important. The First Aid component in the Hospitality Operations program is part of the Australian Training Framework and was recommended by AusAID following the tsunami in Samoa, when many people in the affected areas felt themselves "helpless to help" because of lack of first aid skills.

Although Castaway Island Resort has its own resident nurse, the number of people living on Qalito Island means that extra assistance from qualified First Aid graduates in times of need could be indispensable.

APTC has campuses throughout the Pacific but the Castaway students have been taking the Hospitality program "off-campus" while working at the resort. When they complete their training in September 2012 they'll have studied - apart from First Aid - Customer Service, Hygiene, Occupational Health & Safety, Coffee & Bar skills and Restaurant Service.

Castaway Island's culinary team has also received APTC training. All in all, this popular and much-awarded resort with its highly skilled staff is a showcase for the benefits of training with the APTC.

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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