Congratulations to the 17 Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduates who were awarded Certificates III and IV on Wednesday 21 March.
The graduates, who completed their studies at the APTC campuses in Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, gathered at the Kiribiati Insitute of Technology manaeba (meeting place) in Tarawa, Kiribati. The graduation gave them a chance to meet the other graduates and share their achievements with friends, family and everyone present.
The keynote speaker was the Honourable Ioteba Redfern, Minister for Employment and Human Resources. He congratulated the graduates and made special mention of the 8 women who were graduating with trade qualifications. The Minister spoke of the important role that education plays in improving the quality of life for individuals and their families and communities.
Minister Redfern highlighted the role the Ministry plays in supporting I-Kiribati to use their skills by creating employment opportunities in Kiribati and as part of overseas labour market programs. He expressed his thanks to APTC for their training and also to the Australian Government in providing scholarships and the opportunities for training. To conclude the Minister thanked the families of graduates, acknowledging that their support was essential to the students’ success.
Students were then presented with their certificates by the Honourable Minister, the Australian High Commissioner Mr Bruce Cowled and Ms Carol-Anne Blecich, APTC Executive Director.
Photo: Mr Chris Karawa, Certificate III in Hospitality with Ms Carol-Anne Blecich, APTC Executive Director, Mr Bruce Cowled, Australian High Commissioner and the Honorable Ioteba Redfern, Minister for Employment and Human Resources.
Next, a moving graduate address was delivered by Ms Titiata Keeba, who completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work. She spoke of the sadness and loneliness that students often encounter being so far away from family and friends – but how initial sadness is often countered by new friends that are found along the way.
Ms Keeba (pictured right) said:
Study is not always easy for students, but they were determined to reach their goals because through study, we have an opportunity to transform our lives and that of our families, communities and humanity as a whole.
Ms Keeba offered heartfelt thanks to all the students’ families, the APTC Country Managers and administrators for their support and assistance in helping the students to reach their goals.
The formal part of the evening’s proceedings concluded with closing remarks by the Australian High Commissioner Mr Bruce Cowled. Mr Cowled offered his congratulations to the graduates and echoed comments from Minister Redfern, mentioning that the women graduating in trades have been supported by Australia’s focus on gender equality, together with climate change and disability inclusiveness.
Mr Cowled highlighted Australia’s long relationship with Kiribati, particularly with labour mobility and investment in human capital. Education will remain a key focus of Australia’s investment, with continued support for school infrastructure and the TVET sector. Australia has offered 38 scholarships to I-Kiribati this year. Mr Cowled concluded by noting that there are currently five Kiribati government cabinet members who have been the recipients of Australian scholarships or have studied in Australia.
Photo L-R: Ms Aniti Taiaki (2017 graduate), Ms Joyce Katutu, Ms Kateia Tirouano and Ms Kinaua Teaiwa Batiku (2017 graduate).
Photo: Mr Teangngang Barekiau (‘Windy’), a lecturer in electrotechnology at KIT.
Following the formalities, MC Mrs Bairenga Temaka Tiia and DJs Mr Kaleia Iabeta and Mr Fred Copeland ensured everyone could show off their dance moves – and the traditional I-Kiribati dancing was a real highlight. The evening concluded with a banquet for guests, staff, graduates and their families.
Congratulations to the following graduates:
Certificate III in Carpentry
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
Teerua Tim Taekiti
Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Diesel Fitting)
Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Fitting and Machining)
Certificate III in Hospitality
Lilian King Kumkee
Certificate III in Individual Support
Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling
Certificate IV in Youth Work