Over 30 Tongan nationals proudly received their certificates in 12 different programs during the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation ceremony in Nuku'alofa on 20 September, 2017.
The new graduates join more than 400 APTC Tongan alumni, of which over 220 are women.
In his keynote address, Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency, Mr Andrew Ford congratulated the new graduates on their achievements.
“You are now a recipient of an internationally-recognised qualification. This means that you have the ability to shape your future with new and innovative ideas and make a difference in your own spheres of influence. I encourage you to share your new skills and knowledge to serve your employers, families, communities and your country,” he said.
“I am pleased that APTC offers skills and training that is aligned to labour market demand to allow Tongan nationals and other Pacific Islanders to gain Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers. It is supporting greater opportunities for productive employment and self-employment for Pacific people in national and international labour markets and improving economic growth.”
H.E. Mr Ford also congratulated APTC on achieving the milestone of successfully providing technical and vocational education and training across the Pacific for the last 10 years.
Since it was established in 2007, APTC has provided internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications to more than 11,000 Pacific women and men from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries.
“The Australian Government is proud to support the Australia-Pacific Technical College and the work it has done over the last decade in upskilling Pacific Island citizens. The excellent track record of these APTC graduates in employment and communities, especially here in Tonga, speaks well of APTC’s remarkable progress over the past 10 years,” he said.
H.E. Mr Ford also made special mention of the women graduates, adding, the skills and training provided by APTC to women is in line with the Australian Government’s development priority of creating equal opportunities for women.
Tongan alumni from 2008 to 2017 held a special procession at the start of the ceremony to commemorate APTC’s 10-year anniversary.
APTC’s 10-year anniversary was launched earlier this month by the Samoan Prime Minister, Honourable Afioga Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi at the APTC Samoa graduation.