Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) staff and students work together and provide each other continued support. Recently the Vanuatu Campus Manager, Kathryn Gray and Director for School of Trades and Technology, James Knynenburg caught up with Alumni members in Santo, Vanuatu. They met up with Vicky Vanva, a graduate in Certificate III in Painting who updated us about her recent achievements.
In 2012, through Charlie Vira (Santo Alumni Chapter Chair), Vicky Vanva was recommended and invited to paint a large banner for the Luganville Food Festival. Following painting the banner, Charlie again recommended Vicky to utilise her skills to paint a WWII memorial of a ships propeller adorning the Luganville Municipal Council Offices on the island of Santo. The proposed propeller was to be mounted in front of the Lord Mayor’s office which represents a significant part of Luganville’s history.
To clarify the strength about Vicky’s skills, the Luganville Town Clerk requested to see Vicky’s certificates attesting her claims as a qualified painter (a concept unheard of across the Pacific) and to confirm her credentials as a graduate of APTC. Impressed with the manner in which Vicky responded providing her certificates and her explanations of what she had learnt, the Town Clerk listened intently to Vicky’s claims.
The Town Clerk wanted to trial Vicky ahead of the important task of painting the memorial of the ships propeller. She was given the task of painting the walls of the Municipal Council building. They gave her the opportunity and freedom to make suggestions of a proposed colour scheme. Foremost in Vicky’s mind was the clear timber finish of the large umbrella canopies and the need for complimentary colours to suit, involving the APTC colours.
As Vicky’s work of preparing the walls for painting (sanding and patching work), she was provided with four male council labourers to assist her. Her job was to supervise and provide instruction to her male workers and ensure that the job was done properly and to a high standard. So impressed with Vicky’s confidence, knowledge and painting skills, the Town Council sought her advice for all things paintable.
A colleague of Vicky’s, Selina Rose Din, a Wall and Floor tiling graduate of APTC, has become an inseparable partner assisting Vicky when she has little tiling work. This enables Vicky to train her in painting and likewise when Selina is busy, Vicky is being trained to assist in tiling work.
Over this past week, Selina has secured a contract for tiling of the Luganville Municipal Council Offices. The propeller still remains unpainted however the Offices are the talk of the town, with a female supervisor, advising men her father’s age of what to do and how to do it. The Municipal offices take on a new look giving the 35 year old paint job a face lift.
Vicky has yet to complete the works at the Luganville Municipal Offices, as she fits other contract work in with her current commitment. However the Town Clerk & Mayor clearly do not want to miss the opportunity of securing her services for the longer term having offered Vicky a permanent employment as Supervisor of all Municipal Assets maintenance and new construction painting projects with Luganville Council.
Vicky unviels a range of decorative finishes used as sample panels, ahead of being entrusted to undertake the painting of both the Lord Mayor’s Office seen and of the Town Clerk .The conference room is set to receive a corporate new look with the rooms wall panels, finished with a psychedelic face lift and ragged decorative finishing. Vicky has a number of projects that she attributes to her reputation with such works as the new Vanuatu Centre for Nurse Education, a project undertaken by APTC Carpentry graduates under the supervision of the Vanuatu Mobile Force Engineers (VMF) in Port Vila.