An unusual graduation ceremony took place on Saturday 17 November when 29 Australia-Pacific Technical College hospitality students receive their qualifications at Castaway Island Resort, off the west coast of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.
All the graduating students are staff members of the resort and their training in the APTC’s Hospitality III course has taken place at the resort.
The food and beverage course at the resort was taught by trainer Cathy Joyce of the APTC’s School of Hospitality and Community Services. It follows the success of the Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) program delivered at the resort in 2010.
Cathy, who is based at the APTC’s Namaka campus, travelled to Castaway for two days each week to deliver the course and to give herself time to work with all the trainees individually. Cathy noted the way the enthusiasm of all participants shone through. “For some of the students it was a return to study after years away from school. There were others who joined the course late and dedicated extra hours to catch up.”
Cathy found Castaway Island’s management team extremely cooperative, especially those directly involved in facilitating the course - Monica Paseka, the resort’s food and beverage manager, resort manager Steven Andrews and operations manager Daniel Roy. “The experience of the long-standing staff enriched the training with anecdotal accounts and historical data,” she comments, which added to the value of the program.
In addition to off-campus teaching programs such as this, the APTC, funded by the Australian Government, offers training and Australian-level qualifications in its campuses and teaching centres in 14 Pacific region countries. The Castaway course is a good example of the APTC and industry working together to provide training and assessment with minimal disruption to the resort operations and the opportunity for the resort employees to apply their new skills and knowledge immediately.
About 80 guests attended the graduation.