Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) alumnus Mr James Matariki has received a silver jubilee medal from the President of Vanuatu, His Excellency, Mr Baldwin Lonsdale, for contributing towards the development of the first-ever trade qualification module for the plumbing industry in 2011.
After graduating from APTC with a Certificate III in Plumbing in 2010, Mr Matariki helped develop the training module for the Vanuatu Qualification Authority (VQA). The module is now used by training providers in Vanuatu.
A number of local plumbers including Mr Matariki were approached by VQA to assist in drafting a module which would be used to accredit the plumbing qualification for training institutions.
Mr Matariki and fellow contributors have been described by the Minister for Education and Training, Honourable Mr Jean Pierre Nirua, as “the silent developers of the Vanuatu trade quality.”
Mr Matariki said that the training material he used at APTC helped him draft the module, which took three months.
He dedicated his achievement to his APTC trainers, Mr Doug Wells and Mr Bruce Hills.
According to Mr Matariki, studying at APTC is an opportunity for Pacific islanders to confidently develop their skills and become self-sustainable.
APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
“I thank both the Vanuatu and the Australian Governments for their support and the recognition from the Ministry of Education and the VQA,” he added.
Mr Matariki is passionate about helping plumbers and builders in Vanuatu realise the importance of international standards. In 2013, he successfully led a campaign to have the Vanuatu Building Act and Code of Practice passed by Parliament.
Amongst his other achievements, Mr Matariki was previously a political advisor to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Agriculture. He also attended the 2015 Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Summit as part of the Vanuatu Government delegation.
As a council member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ni-Vanuatu Builders Association, Mr Matariki is actively involved in the community.
Last year, he worked as a disaster relief officer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) during Cyclone Pam.
He is currently working on a proposal for a community irrigation project, with the aim of elevating local subsistence farmers to semi or commercial farming, which complements the agri-tourism initiative of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.