When the Australian boats sailed into Port Vila for the 2006 Queensland Government South Pacific Boomerang Yacht Race series Melbourne to Vanuatu race recently, they brought with them 48 computers for students of the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT). The computers and laptops were provided by VIT’s sister school in Australia, the Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong.

The transport of the equipment was arranged by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) who also arranged the Melbourne to Vanuatu Yacht Race. A member of the ORCV, Mr Paul Anderson is also the Senior Manager of Information Systems for the Gordon Institute of TAFE. Paul was the person who organised the donation of computers and laptops to VIT.

After two days spent navigating the yacht Inglis 47 Ocean Skins, Mr Anderson visited VIT at the completion of the race to see the students working on their new computers. He was extremely pleased with the way the staff at VIT had set up the computers and remarked that there was a good base computing infrastructure and definitely the makings of a future partnership.

The sister school arrangement between VIT and the Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong began in 1998 when Director General of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Daniel Lamoureux visited the Gordon Institute of TAFE. Both institutions realised they shared a similar goal in wanting to provide high quality vocational education and training for students; to give students the skills to go into the workplace and to really make a difference.

Daryl Moon, Information Technology (IT) advisor to the Technical Vocational Education and Training Program, assisted VIT IT staff members Henjo Tom and Esther Thomas to configure the equipment for student use. The 38 desktops will be used by students who are undertaking courses in business studies and are located in both the Anglophone and Francophone computer labs. Of the 10 laptops, several have been distributed to the Ministry of Education for use by Provincial Education Officers while the rest are to be used by teachers at VIT.

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