The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in Samoa recently welcomed its newest cohort of 80 graduates in a virtual graduation ceremony, which aired on TV1 Samoa on Tuesday 29 September.
The graduates earned their Australian qualifications in Certificate III programs in Air-Conditioning, Applied Fashion Design Technology, Commercial Cookery, Education Support, Hospitality, Plumbing, Tourism and upskilling in International Skills Training (IST).
Delivering the keynote address, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Honourable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, congratulated graduates and wished them success in their careers.
“This is, without question, a very significant day for the graduates. It is the day when you will be thinking back to the numerous challenges that you faced, yet you have come out victorious,” Honourable Tuilaepa said.
“From here onwards, you will be facing difficulties of the future; however, you will be going forward with confidence because you are equipped with qualifications, knowledge and skills that will enable you to confront and successfully respond to challenges and hardships that may come your way.”
The virtual graduation ceremony, being the first for APTC in Samoa, was organised as a response to the current national State of Emergency under the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Anton Viali, a graduate of the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816) course, expressed his appreciation to APTC for celebrating their success virtually in Samoa.
“2020 has been a memorable year for all of us due to the global impacts of COVID-19. We appreciate the measures undertaken to prioritise our health and safety while acknowledging our achievements in successfully completing our courses,” Anton said.
“Our graduating class extends our sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us in our journey in attaining our Australian qualifications, and in this memorable celebration.”
In her closing address, Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Sara Moriarty, expressed best wishes for the graduates on behalf of the Australian Government.
“I commend you for your commitment and persistence in pursuing training with the APTC to enhance your skills, and I share in your excitement for completing all this hard work, particularly at this most challenging of times,” Ms Moriarty said.
“Graduates, you are now embarking on a new chapter – one in which the Samoan Government and the Government of Australia through APTC, share your hopes for a prosperous future for yourselves, your families and communities.”
APTC acknowledges the assistance of its partners from the Nuanua O le Alofa (NOLA) Disability Advocacy Organization and the National University of Samoa (NUS) in facilitating the virtual graduation and contributing to its success.
As Australia’s flagship TVET investment in the Pacific, APTC has trained over 15,000 Pacific women and men, including 1,819 graduates in Samoa, since its commencement in 2007.