20 community workers from across Tuvalu will now be able to provide specialised counselling services to survivors of gender based violence, after successfully completing the Counselling Short Course from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The short course was developed to build the capacity of key personnel in nongovernmental organisations, local communities and government after the Tuvalu Government Gender Affairs Department (GAD) identified a lack of qualified counsellors, safe shelters and support services for survivors of gender based violence in Tuvalu.
Delivered by APTC in May, as part of the World Bank funded Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project, the short course provided training in general counselling to participants to help establish basic counselling services and provide adequate psychosocial counselling and support for survivors of gender based violence and violence against children.
APTC delivered three units of competency from the Australian Diploma of Counselling program, focusing on establishing counselling relationships, specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills, and providing counselling to people affected by domestic violence.
The training also included non-accredited specialised counselling for Tuvalu communities, on alcohol and drugs abuse awareness, family, child and adolescent counselling techniques, anti-bullying strategies, and psycho-education facilitation training.
APTC worked closely with GAD and the Ministry of Home Affairs Psychosocial Counsellor Advisor to ensure that training was designed to meet the needs of local communities in Tuvalu.
The participants proudly received their statements of attainment at the APTC awards ceremony in Funafuti, on 17 October 2018.
They join over 100 Tuvaluan nationals, including more than 60 women, who have been trained by APTC - Australia’s major Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) investment in the Pacific.
While delivering the keynote address at the ceremony, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Honourable Enele Sopoaga congratulated the participants and encouraged them to share their skills with their families and communities to support survivors of gender based violence and raise awareness on violence against children.
Acknowledging the thirteen women who were part of the training, he said upskilling and empowering women through such programs would enable them to contribute more effectively to the social and economic structures and policies in Tuvalu.
Congratulating APTC on entering its third phase, Hon. Sopoaga said the Government is proud to work more closely with APTC to ensure Tuvaluans and other Pacific Islanders continue to receive Australian standard training, aligned to national growth.
In the new phase, APTC will continue to deliver high quality, internationally recognised training that ensures graduates have improved employment outcomes while expanding its focus to supporting greater investment in skills training and higher quality TVET delivery across the Pacific.
The Australian High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Her Excellency Amy Crago congratulated the participants for upgrading their skills and knowledge through APTC’s internationally recognised training to support the establishment of counselling services in Tuvalu.
The participants work in counselling roles in government, local churches, schools and communities including: GAD, Community Affairs Department, Tuvalu Police Force, Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu – Church of Tuvalu, Motufoua Secondary School, Nauti Primary School, Seven Day Adventist Primary School, Tuvalu Family Health Association Clinic, and Fusi Alofa Association.
The participants are also eligible to undertake additional course units to completeAPTC’s Diploma of Counselling, program. The benefits of which include learning about various counselling methods that can further build their skills of working with people on personal and psychosocial issues.
APTC delivers training to citizens of 14 Pacific island countries from its campuses in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.