The President of Kiribati, His Excellency Taneti Maamau was warmly received by i-Kiribati students and staff members of the Australia-Pacific Technical College’s (APTC) Fiji campus on 4 October 2016.
The President, who is in the country for three days, said he was delighted to visit APTC, and extended his best wishes to APTC for its work in the region.
“I acknowledge the contribution of APTC and the Australian Government for the training of one of our very important resource in Kiribati that is our people. This has continued to contribute towards the development of human resources, and the development of the country at large,” he said.
“I am very confident that the training and qualification of APTC continues to pave the way for our human resources in Kiribati and also elevates the standard and quality of the delivery of services,” he added.
The President also spoke about the importance of the ongoing partnership between APTC and the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT).
“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for my people to develop their skills and talents through Australian-standard qualifications, in an environment where they can explore their full potential and compete with students from other parts of the region,” he said.
The President said he is very proud of Kiribati’s association with APTC, and looks forward to further strengthening of relations through the collaboration between the two institutes.
As part of the President’s welcome, i-Kiribati students undertaking Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) performed cultural songs and dance.
On behalf of the Individual Support class, Mr Newton Ioane thanked the President for visiting the i-Kiribati student community at APTC.
Currently 50 i-Kiribati students are studying at APTC campuses in Fiji, PNG and Samoa.
APTC Fiji Country Manager, Mr Jonathan Todd said it was a privilege for APTC to host the President, and be given the opportunity to provide information on APTC programs, including a tour of APTC training centres.
The President also met with staff and students of the APTC training centres located at Walu Bay and Vatuwaqa in Suva.
The President was accompanied by the Kiribati High Commissioner, Her Excellency Retata Rimon, Acting Secretary to Foreign Affairs, Ms Peniita Kabubuke-Garisau and a delegation from the Australian High Commission in Fiji, including Counsellor – Regional Climate Change, Health, Education and Gender, Mr Gordon Burns.