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TAFE NSW Miller IT students help power up a Vanuatu school

The white sand and crystal blue waters of Vanuatu await a group of TAFE NSW Miller IT students who will be heading to Espiritu Santo for the opportunity of a lifetime to install a solar powered generation system and 10 low powered computers at a local school.

The project is an on-going partnership between TAFE NSW and Upper Blue Mountains Rotary Club who has been involved in the project for the past five years to install computers in under-privileged schools in Pacific Island countries. The TAFE NSW Miller students will be part of a group of 10 students travelling to Vanuatu, departing on Saturday 29 June and will return on 11 July.

TAFE NSW Miller students will gain valuable practical experience that will help them with their studies and IT careers. As part of the project, the students will also teach computer skills to the staff and students in Vanuatu.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of IT and Business, Colin Tyrrell said, “Most of the school students and some of the local teachers won’t have any experience using a computer before, and so it will be rewarding seeing their excitement when we first introduce them to the technology.”

“Every year I take the students to Vanuatu and without a doubt it’s always such an exciting, yet humbling experience for the TAFE NSW team. This year the students will be installing computers at Mwast Primary School. While we’re on the island we’ll also be servicing previous installations.”

Having access to computers extends the educational support for Vanuatu students and teachers. Each computer will be equipped with Microsoft Office and other educational software, which will help strengthen the students’ numeracy and literacy skills. Providing local students with access to computers and programs will enhance the future employability of the students.

TAFE NSW Miller student Tania Duncan is studying the Certificate IV in IT Support, and is the only female amongst the group of 10 students.

“To me, this trip is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something incredible. TAFE NSW and Rotary have done an amazing job organising everything so far - I would definitely encourage future students to apply,” said Tania Duncan.

“Being the only female student to be selected for the trip was initially daunting but after meeting everyone I have been made to feel so comfortable and welcomed to the team. I have no doubt the trip is going to be amazing and I’m looking forward to learning some valuable IT skills and also helping the Vanuatu community.”

The TAFE NSW IT students are funded by the Australian Government’s Endeavour Leadership Program (ELT) which provides $2,500 per student to offset airfare, accommodation and insurance.

The ELT[1] is the Australian Government's previous two-way mobility for short and long-term study, research and professional development with Australia's priority partner countries. The ELP is providing opportunities for established and emerging leaders to undertake a global mobility experience within their study, research or professional field.

To learn more about studying IT at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887