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Inoke Drauna, Founder and Director of ARUKA Fiji, is a graduate of APTC’s Diploma of Counselling program. - Copy

From APTC graduate to mental health champion: Alumnus leads counselling efforts to make a difference

May 15, 2024

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world and always be ready to lend a helping hand.”

This is the sentiment of Inoke Drauna, an alumnus of the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) Diploma in Counselling course, who is helping to make a difference in addressing mental health challenges in Fiji through his non-governmental organisation called ARUKA Fiji.

Inoke enrolled in the APTC Diploma of Counselling program in 2019, seeking the knowledge and skills to empower himself and others. “Studying counselling at APTC,” Inoke reflects, “has greatly contributed to my awareness and healing.” The program not only equipped him with practical skills but also reaffirmed his calling to serve others.

APTC provided Inoke with a supportive learning environment and exposure to diverse counselling approaches. 

“The facilitators were accommodating and had a wealth of experience in counselling,” Inoke says, highlighting the quality of instruction he received.

After completing his diploma, Inoke became the first in his family to hold an Australian-accredited qualification from APTC, paving the way for future generations.

In 2019, Inoke founded ARUKA Fiji (ARUKA in Hebrew means healing and restoration). It is a positive social network that engages counsellors, social workers, and youth development personnel, accredited with Australian and New Zealand qualifications to provide psychological and psycho-social support for needy and grieving widows and abandoned teenagers living on the streets.

“As I look back today, I thank the Lord for this divine intervention. Studying counselling at APTC greatly contributed to my awareness and healing. This later reassured me on many things, as to why I have a purpose and how my purpose could help others out there hanging by a thread to continue to persevere and find solutions to the unfavourable circumstances they are in.”

Inoke’s dedication and quality of counselling services are being recognised with the expansion of his counselling clientele. 

“The past few years, I have assisted in supporting many to find a silver lining from a dark tunnel they have been in for a while now. For this dedication, this year I have clients from America and Australia reaching out for hired support to any services that assist with their psychological well-being.”

Over the years, APTC’s programs have equipped individuals with the tools and knowledge to become agents of positive change in their communities. Through its commitment to TVET and mental health education, it has made a significant impact on communities in the Pacific region.

APTC is Australia’s major TVET program in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, contributing to a more skilled, inclusive, and productive workforce.

Since 2007, through the support of the the Australian Government, APTC has empowered more than 11,000 Fijians with in-demand skills to pursue diverse and rewarding vocational careers.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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