The opening reception for the Australia Future Unlimited Education Roadshow took place at the Taumeasina Island Resort on Tuesday.
It was a chance for the representatives from Australian education institutions to meet and greet prospective students, as well as provide an occasion for local business individuals, and former Samoan alumni of Australian universities, to network and create links.
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualaavi II, spoke about his own experience as a former scholarship student studying at the Australia National University in the 1980’s.
As a Police inspector at the time, he took a 10-month administration course at the university, which was sponsored and funded by the Kelloggs Company. He eventually went on to study a degree in law at the Australia National University.
“It was an excellent experience for me to participate with the other students from Fiji, India, P.N.G. in pursuing administrative knowledge and skills under the guidance and supervision of the A.N.U. staff. I was then assigned the Police Officers administration course conducted by a federal police college in N.S.W.”
“I am profoundly honoured to appear tonight as an alumnus of the Pacific Law programme at the Australia National University (A.N.U.) in Canberra.”
He spoke about the challenges of studying as a mature student and transitioning from Police office to legal studies.
“To acquire a degree from any Australian university or tertiary institution is a great step forward in any individual’s life and the fulfillment of one’s positive dreams. It was not easy for a policeman and a mature student like myself to pursue a legal degree.
“But I am proud to say I was able to open the doors to other members of the Police service in Samoa to take up the same challenge and succeed.”
“I believe there are now other Police officers with legal qualifications. Furthermore, it was not easy for myself either, as the holder of a paramount title, to have undertaken the studies for a legal degree and to fulfill my obligations to my family and village from Australia during the tenure of my studies.”
Admissions and Recruitment Officer from Griffith University, Emily Haralampou said to the Samoa Observer she looked forward to the opportunity to create links with both the public and private sector in Samoa in order to provide programmes that provide capacity development for staff.
“Griffith University offers short courses in the South Pacific so it’s certainly a two-way street. Not only do students have the opportunity to come study in Australia, but the university would be happy to consider an option to come here to deliver short courses that may be in demand.”
“We do have students from the South Pacific and I know there have been some great success stories for those students. So if we can grow on that success, I think both sides can benefit.”
It is the first time that a large co-ordinated approach of Australian universities has happened in Samoa. Yesterday an open session at Taumeasina Island Resort took place for prospective students and career advisors to have one on one consultation with the nine Australian university representatives.