(Photo 3: Foreign Minister Marise Payne with Hon Nick Kuman, Minister for Education, talking with students and staff at the launch of the new National Automotive Training Centre in Port Moresby. )
On 15 November, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, launched the new National Automotive Training Centre at Port Moresby Technical College (POMTECH). Minister Payne was joined by Minister for Education, Hon Nick Kuman MP, and Minister for Higher Education, Research,Science, Technology, Hon Pila Niningi MP, to officially launch the new facility.
The centre was constructed in partnership with the Australia Pacific Technical Coalition (APTC), and jointly funded by the governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia.
“It is terrific to meet inspiring PNG women leading the way in an industry dominated by men around the globe. The female students here are powerful role models to other women as they join the automotive industry, which has a growing demand for skilled workers.”
Automotive trainer Doris Meliwane knows what it is like to work up from the trade floor.She was apprenticed to Boroko Motors in Mt Hagen before completing additional training with APTC in Fiji, and became PNG’s first female automotive graduate in 2010. Doris now trains adult learners as Workshop Supervisor at the National Automotive Training Centre.
“Imparting my skills and knowledge is what I want to do. I believe in gender equality and I know we can work alongside men to develop our beautiful country,” she said.
The modern training centre is located in Port Moresby and will be shared by POM TECH and APTC. It is fitted with high-quality training equipment and will be used to deliver courses to students of both institutions according to both PNG and Australian curricula.
It will enable aspiring mechanics to acquire the skills needed to become skilled automotive technicians – something increasingly in demand in PNG. This technical and vocational training will help Papua New Guinea to build a stronger, more diversified economy and a healthy and productive workforce.
The launch of this new facility, along with many other joint education initiatives,further deepens the important partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia and highlights the role technical and vocational training plays in enhancing the partnership.