ACPET CEO Rod Camm said the keynote address delivered by Dr Sword Gusmão in her role as Goodwill Ambassador for Education for Timor-Leste was an incredible opportunity to hear of her experiences.

“Dr Sword Gusmão’s work over many years to give access to education to the people of Timor-Leste and understanding the transformative power of this to a growing young nation was the highlight of her address to APIEF,” Camm said.

“After independence, when we spoke to people about their immediate concerns and and needs – education was the number one priority mentioned by many,” Dr Sword Gusmão said. 

“While people’s villages were still smouldering, children in crisp white uniforms were making their way to makeshift schools, because of their hunger to learn and advance themselves and their new country.

Dr Gusmao also spoke of the opportunities and rapid growth in higher education in Timor-Leste.

“Enrolments at the university and vocational education providers continue to rise in large numbers, so there’s a great opportunity to partner with people there to broaden the offering” he said.

“International education and training is not only beneficial in an economic sense, but also the way that opportunity allows you to open your mind and experience different cultures.

Camm said “Dr Sword Gusmão noted in her speech that access to higher education was a key barrier for the people of Timor-Leste for many years and so anything our industry can do help facilitate more opportunities is something we should strive for.”

While APIEF will concluded today, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) 2017 national conference opens tomorrow with speeches from Assistant Minister Karen Andrews MP, Senator Bridget McKenzie, Terri Butler MP and Professor Ian Harper amongst many other notable attendees.