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APTC alumna, Sisilia Seviua, applying her welding skills during the course. - Copy

Welding course transforms Sisilia’s life

May 31, 2024

Meet Sisilia Seviua, a remarkable APTC graduate who is shattering barriers. She’s proving that this valuable skill is for everyone and that there are huge advantages to be gained from learning a trade.

Through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition’s (APTC) program, she not only learned basic engineering skills but also discovered a newfound confidence that empowers her to make significant contributions to her family and community.

Sisilia’s journey began last year with APTC’s welding course, Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20422), offered through its Gender Equity, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) initiative. This initiative aimed to break down barriers and equip women with the skills to pursue careers in a male-dominated trade.

“I always felt intimidated by the power tools my grandfather and uncle used,” she admits. “But APTC gave me the confidence to conquer that fear.”

Sisilia thrived in the classroom environment and learned to operate grinders, circular saws, and welding machines with expertise.

One of the course projects involved building rocket stoves, and with her skills, Sisilia hopes to make and provide cost-effective stoves for those who may need them.

She also uses the rocket stove for her home-made jam business.

“Now, I’ve replaced my kerosene stove with the ecofriendly rocket stove I built,” she proudly shares. “The food tastes better and I’m saving a significant amount on fuel costs. It’s a practical and sustainable solution.

“I plan to buy more tools, and with my welding skills, I can build and sell rocket stoves to others, especially villagers who are interested in buying these stoves which will be cost-effective and durable.”

Sisilia’s newfound skills are also impacting her family. “We’re building a house on our land in Waila, Nausori,” she explains. “I’ll be working alongside my uncle to make it happen. I love applying my welding skills in practical ways, and APTC training gave me the confidence to be innovative and keep pushing forward.”

It also made her realise that with the right support, women and girls can excel in any field, including trade.

“Yes, we can! No matter our gender and challenges, we are capable of achieving anything we set our minds to. With the skills I’ve learned, I can be resourceful, sustainable, and creative. You can too!”

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

Since 2007, 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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