The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is thrilled to be an official partner of the Nuanua O le Alofa (NOLA) Disability Advocacy Organisation, after both parties recently signed their much anticipated partnership framework at a formal signing ceremony.
The partnership framework represents a foundational document of APTC’s bilateral partnership with NOLA, developed out of a partnership workshop held in December 2019, and as part of ongoing partnership discussions.
Focused on inclusive and mutual benefits, the document will guide working arrangements between APTC and NOLA.
The partnership framework sets out the shared goals of NOLA and APTC which include:
- Supporting greater equal access opportunities and enabling environments for training and employment through reasonable accommodations;
- Increasing national capacity in training and support services for persons with disability; and
- Demonstrating collective action and effective partnering to build coalitions for enhanced outcome and reform
Representatives from the Samoan government ministries, the Australian High Commission, NOLA and APTC were in attendance to witness this milestone on Friday 24 July 2020.
While speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms Sauoaiga Olive Kaio, the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Social Development within the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, expressed the Government of Samoa’s support for the partnership.
“Under this partnership, we anticipate more opportunities for greater participation and equal pportunities for Persons with Disability in Inclusive Education and Economic Empowerment,” Ms Kaio said.
“The Samoan Government commends NOLA and the APTC for their partnership approach, and looks forward to greater outcomes in contributing to Samoa’s development,” she added.
APTC and NOLA have shown immense support for each other over the years with both organisations acting on consultative capacities in their respective areas of expertise.
Examples of collaboration between the two range from contributions made by NOLA towards the design of APTC’s new organisational phase in 2018, and the APTC consultations for NOLA such as the “Education Equal Opportunities.”
Speaking on the outcomes that APTC hopes to achieve through this partnership, APTC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Soli Middleby, said they look forward to supporting greater understanding and awareness in enabling equal training and employment opportunities for all.
“As APTC works towards our vision of contributing to a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce for Pacific prosperity, we are committed to incorporating our priority of gender equality, social inclusion and fair distribution of benefits,” Ms Middleby said.
“We can think of no better collaboration in this space than with NOLA, who champions advocacy for social inclusion and equal rights.”
Recent collaborations between the two also include NOLA-facilitated training for APTC staff on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
APTC Country Director for Samoa and Tonga, Ms Cheri Robinson Moors, said they are pleased to collaborate with NOLA and be a part of the vital work the organisation carries out in promoting equal access and inclusivity in Samoa.
“Awareness around disability-inclusivity is a priority for APTC. Through this partnership, we are committing to promoting equal access and opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and vulnerable groups,” Ms Moors said.
In 2020, APTC rolled out Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20113), targeting persons with disabilities to address and promote the need for closely supporting access and participation of vulnerable groups in training.