Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s Address at the TPAF-TAFE 10th Anniversary Celebration

The Chairman and Board members of TPAF

•The Permanent Secretary for Labour Industrial Relations & Productivity

•The Director and representatives of Western Sydney Institute

•Ladies & Gentlemen:

Tonight, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of TPAF and Western Sydney Institute of TAFE’s successful partnership.

Prime Minister Bainimarama’s Government fully supports such collaboration and partnerships. We believe partnerships, engagements, based on a positive end result, which will amongst other things benefit all Fijians, benefit our economy and make us a knowledge based society must be supported and encouraged.

For the next 3 years, the Government’s primary focus will be on the economy. To build the foundations of a strong economic base, we must provide education and quality education at that.

The collaboration of TPAF and the Western Sydney Institute has meant that Fijians now have another source of quality education. Their various courses are recognised by the University of the South Pacific, the Fiji Institute of Accountants, University of Fiji and I am sure the soon to be inaugurated National University of Fiji. It also has credit possibilities with institutes in Australia.

The relationship between TPAF and the Western Sydney Institute also demonstrates that not withstanding the diplomatic position of the Australian Government, relationships of friendship, trade, economic cooperation, education, have continued, are continuing and shall continue.

Indeed, the strong ties between Fiji and Australia and the Bainimarama Government’s belief that Fiji is very much part of the globalized world, the Government has implemented multiple citizenship. We recognise the ability of people to move between countries and that mobility requires skill sets that are recognised not just in Fiji but also in Australia.

Educational opportunities and upskilling creates a robust economy, a society that is less prejudiced and bigoted and a nation that is open to new ideas.

It gives individuals dignity, mobility, self-respect and it empowers them given that we live in a country where 40% of the population live on or below the poverty line.

The Bainimarama Government shall continue to support TPAF’s initiative to form such collaborations. We also encourage the Western Sydney Institute to continue their association with TPAF and Fiji.

It gives me much pleasure to congratulate you both on your 10 year association.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

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