APTC Appoints New Country Director for Samoa and Tonga

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The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Afioga Lagaaia Lealiifano Easter Manila-Silipa as its new Country Director for Samoa and Tonga.

Ms Manila-Silipa took over the role earlier this month, joining APTC from the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) where she served as the Chief Executive Officer. She has a wealth of knowledge in Samoa’s Post School Education and Training, having spent 16 years with SQA.

Having worked extensively in the education sector, Ms Manila-Silipa says she looks forward to improving educational and training opportunities for the people of Samoa and Tonga through her new role.

“Given the current emphasis on skills development and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector strengthening, I am excited to further APTC’s work in skills and training delivery, improve collaboration with industries, local TVET providers and employers and support the development of quality TVET qualifications that meet national standards,” she said.

She hopes to continue working collaboratively with all TVET stakeholders in Samoa and Tonga to produce quality graduates to meet the expectations and needs of the workplaces.

Ms Manila-Silipa played an integral part in strengthening the partnership between SQA and APTC. During her time with SQA, she helped facilitate the signing of a formal partnership between both institutions in 2021. This partnership was recently renewed in June.

APTC Executive Director, Janelle Chapman said she is delighted to welcome the new Country Director and looks forward to her leadership of APTC’s operations and strategic direction in achieving sustainable TVET outcomes for Samoa and Tonga.

“Ms Manila-Silipa has successfully built a strong rapport with education and training providers, at the national and international levels. Her vast experience working in various senior leadership capacities, particularly with development partners in Samoa’s education sector, will add value to APTC’s existing contributions in developing a skilled, inclusive and productive workforce for the region’s prosperity,” she added.

Ms Chapman also acknowledged the efforts of the former Country Director, Ms Cheri Robinson Moors, conveying APTC’s gratitude for her leadership and contribution to skills across the region.

APTC is Australia’s flagship TVET investment in the region. Samoa is one of the six APTC country offices around the region.

APTC has trained over 17,000 graduates, including more than 2,000 Samoans for a wide range of vocational careers.