Gail Waki Tamakam is a shining example of women who are excelling in male-dominated trades.
Gail is a Carpentry Trainer with the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) based in Vanuatu and was recently awarded the Exemplary Achievement Recognition Award at the 2022 AUSTAFE Queensland Leaders and Legends Awards.
Ms Tamakam joined APTC as a Carpentry Tutor in 2017, and later moved up to a Trainer position in 2019.
The award recognises Ms Tamakam’s immense contribution to quality training and skills development, particularly her role in ensuring students’ learning journey at APTC continued with as little disruption as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Tamakam assisted students in accessing and connecting to APTC’s remote learning platform, provided direct support over the phone, and changed her class delivery time to optimise on internet connectivity.
Ms Tamakam said she was pleased to be recognised for her contributions - training students to enable them to bring about positive changes in their workplaces and communities.
“APTC is in the business of developing lifelong skills, and it is important for me to be a part of this team that strives to transform lives.”
“As an APTC graduate and now as a trainer, I recognise the value of the skills and knowledge we impart to our students. Regardless of our gender and background, we all have the capacity to bring about positive change for a better future,” she added.
Ms Tamakam thanked APTC colleagues, students and her family for their unwavering support throughout her career.
Her advice to other women, who are aspiring to pursue a career in carpentry or trades, is to remain determined and follow their dreams, regardless of the challenges and barriers they might face.
APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Mr Nicholas Venables, congratulated Ms Tamakam and commended her for achieving remarkable outcomes and results for her students and APTC.
“APTC is proud to be part of Gail’s journey as a student in 2011, which led to her current role as a trainer. Her achievement is indeed an inspiration to everyone at APTC, including her students, alumni and in particular women working in or looking to study in trades,” he said.
Another APTC staff member, Jessica Anthony, was nominated in the ‘Emerging Leader Support Services’ category.
The annual AUSTAFE Awards celebrate the wonderful achievements of emerging leaders and legends in the vocational education and training sector, recognising outstanding commitment and expertise in teaching, support services and leadership.
The awards ceremony was held in Brisbane, Australia on 2 November 2022.
APTC is one of Australia’s major technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs in the region. Since 2017, APTC has trained more than 18,000 Pacific and Timorese citizens, including over 2,300 Vanuatu nationals.