A total of 85 Ni-Vanuatu graduated from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in eight different technical and vocational areas yesterday.

APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Mr. Nicholas Venables, commended each graduate for their dedication to learning and growth.

He especially recognised those who endured Tropical Cyclones (TCs) Judy and Kevin earlier this year and demonstrated incredible resilience and support to the community during the rebuilding and clean-up efforts.

Mr. Venables addressed some of the graduates at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT), saying the acquisition of their Australian Qualification and Award stands as a commendable milestone.

“May the skills and knowledge you have acquired serve as a solid foundation for your future endeavors, enabling you to excel in your chosen fields and contribute to the development of Vanuatu and the world at large,” he said.

He also acknowledged the support of the Australian and Vanuatu Governments, adding that the graduation and the work that APTC does would not be possible without their valuable support.

“I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the APTC team for orchestrating this graduation ceremony,” the APTC Country Director said.

“Your dedication to fostering educational excellence is truly commendable. Together, let us pave the way for a brighter future, where each individual is equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to contribute to the holistic growth and prosperity of our communities.”

Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Heidi Bootle, acknowledged the dedicated APTC staff for their stewardship in supporting the students throughout their study journey, culminating in yesterday’s graduation ceremony.

“I encourage you to remain engaged, seek support and take every opportunity to be change makers in your respective industries,” Ms Heidi addressed the graduates.

She also said that studying a new trade or skill is not an easy task, it is a challenge to finish all the projects and assignments, especially with the Twin Cyclones in March, which affected teachers and students alike.

“Investing in your professional development is a big commitment, but a critical one, you are making an investment in a future career, a new job, a promotion, and in personal satisfaction,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter your age or where you come from, everyone can learn something new, update their skills and can improve their work readiness.”

Ms Bootle mentioned Australia is delighted to endorse skills development in Vanuatu through APTC and additional programs, such as the Vanuatu Skills Partnership, and that they are encouraged by the growing demand for top-tier skills training throughout Vanuatu and the unwavering commitment of their APTC students to excel in their training.

The High Commissioner was also pleased to see that almost half of the graduates in this cohort are women, and that the Australian Government is committed ensuring that women and girls have equal access to education and employment opportunities, an important part of advancing gender equality.

She further on stated that as Australia’s flagship investment in technical and vocational education and training in the Pacific, APTC has trained 19,000 graduates, and over 2,000 of these come from Vanuatu.

“The skills learned at APTC will serve you well in whatever career or business opportunities that you pursue,” she said.

APTC Vanuatu Chapter Chair, Mr. Yannick Tarivuhavu, also welcomed the graduates into the esteemed APTC Vanuatu Alumni Chapter.

“With the presentation of your APTC alumni shirt, you are officially part of a vibrant network comprising over 19,000 Pacific Islanders, unified by the common goal of fostering growth and development in our communities,” he said.

“The APTC Vanuatu Alumni Chapter offers you a unique platform to remain connected with your peers, engage in collaborative initiatives with fellow alumni, the APTC, and the wider community, and contribute to the advancement of our shared goals.

“We encourage you to take full advantage of the resources and opportunities provided by the APTC Vanuatu Alumni Chapter, and we anticipate your active involvement and contribution to the betterment of our society.”