Wednesday, October 10, 2012

APTC Graduation - Keynote address by Mrs Julia King, Evergreen Tours

First of all: Apologies from my Managing Director,Philip Malas who is not able to be here at this time. Honour the Good Lord for this time an opportunity that we can all be here.

Acting High Commissioner  Aust.High Commission – Ms Charlene Wartego
CEO of APTC- Mr Barry Peddle
Director of School of Hospitality and Community Services – Mr Anthony Bailey
Country Manager for APTC Vanuatu Campus – Ms Kathryn Gray
NZ High Commisioner –Mr Bill Dorby
Government Representatives
Honorable DPM Ham Lini
Honarable Min Charlot Salwai
DG of Education- Mr Jesse Dick
DG of Trades – Mr Marokon Alilee
Vanuatu Hotels And Tourism Industry Members
APTC Training Partners and Industry Partners
APTC Alumni Association Members
APTC Trainers & Staff
APTC Students & Families
And above all the graduating class of 2012: Congratulations!

This is a wonderful day for all of you, as you mark the end of one great effort and the beginning of another. You’ve taken on difficult assignments, passed tough exams. You’ve pored over course books late into the night and into the early morning. You’ve worked hard, You’ve stumbled and gotten back up.
As for your families, this is their day, too, because they’ve been on this journey with you. They’ve listened to you, worried for you and  placed their hopes in you. I am excited for you because it is an achievement not only for you but also this industry and for your respective countries. Its moments like these when we need a new generation to offer new ideas ,skills and energy to meet challenges we face in this industry.
Last night while I was trying to write this speech, my children were jumping over me and ripping my papers apart and I realized that my nervousness was not because I was giving you a speech but for you, graduates,  to have come to another milestone of your life and have the great world of choices and potentials before you.
Evergreen is all about offering the best service to our guests and ensuring that they have the most memorable experiences whilst here on holiday. Our 90+staff, all local have learnt to embrace the importance of creating memories for those who travel far and wide to our  beautiful piece of paradise. We have invested a lot into developing our tours and services, our fleet of buses and coaches and the amount of works still to be done is huge. We have participated in tradeshows regionally in the Pacific and internationally. We have sent staff for training to China, to expo in Yoesu ,Korea. We have funded our students in further studies locally and abroad. All these efforts seem to take up all our time and money and at times we question ourselves why do we do it. It comes down to wanting to be  the best we can ever be in offering our guests the greatest service Vanuatu has to offer

In exactly 14 days, Evergreen will be celebrating its 13th year anniversary of operations. It has  been a long , tiresome but most rewarding journey. We have had our share of ups and lows, our moments of tears and laughter, our achievements and downfalls. The most important thing is that in the face of these different phases ,we are still here and still going. In these years, we have had criticism, we have had complains, we’ve had financial struggles (who wouldn’t?), we have had to take up strict measures to ensure the safety of our services for our guests and the best training for our staff. We have had natural disasters where whole trees have fallen into the waterfalls pool and floods have washed our bridges away. I have had issue of handling family staff members , who, in our traditional Melanesian culture, have issues of submitting to a female boss who also happens to be baby sister. We have trialed measures that have not worked for us and has cost us a lot but its all about the getting up and moving on.

Our greatest  lesson has been  one of humility and perseverance when one stumbles because this has helped us come to where we are today. Being forced to get back up from failure and disappointment  is why I wear this uniform with pride today. You are about to embark on the greatest journey of your life and surely life will throw all kinds of opportunities and choices your way and One thing is for sure: You will have failures in your life, but, it is what you do during those valleys that will determine the heights of your peaks. If you have the seriousness of purpose, if you find wisdom in your failures, if you give yourself to a greater cause than yourself , then I know you will do great things because in all the challenges of life, there is a silver lining to graduating at this moment in time to this booming industry in the Pacific.

I thank you all for the opportunity to be here, I congratulate you and wish you all the best for your future endeavors. 

God Bless You All !