NES team members enrol in the University of Newcastle
NES has successfully enrolled three senior staff Vavia Tangatataia, Benjamin Maxwell and Junior Tapoki from the Environmental Compliance Department to take up online studies for a Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Sustainability with the University of Newcastle, Australia. The staff are required to allocate a minimum of ten hours per week to study the online course materials. The program is part of the University of Newcastle’s distant education platform of which the NES staff conduct on a part time basis.
The University of Newcastle has world-class achievements as one of the Top 200 Universities in the world, Top 5 in the world for partnering for a sustainable future and the number #1 University in Australia for indigenous enrolments and industry collaboration.
NES is investing heavily in its staff to develop technical and specialised capacity to strengthen its output as a Permitting Authority. The assessment of various projects, from coastal development to environmental impact from infrastructure developments, is becoming more complex and requires savvy technical skills. As the world move towards a greener and more sustainable economy, the demand for green jobs will grow.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Sustainability is set out in three trimesters. Students can complete the program between one and three years depending on whether they take up part time or full time studies. Trimester 1 involves several modules which covers a wide range of topics such as Complex Adaptive system, Ecosystems and Human Social Systems, Adaptive Cycles, Adaptive Management, Sustainability and Resilience Indicators. Students will conduct audio presentations, facilitate online discussion boards and zoom tutorials, essay and report writing. The three staff are gradually working through each of the weekly modules and are enjoying the opportunity.
Halatoa Fua, NES Director, noted ‘Vavia, Benjamin and Junior have years of experience in Environmental Compliance. This program will further enhance their skills by incorporating international case studies and literature review. This program is a significant win for NES as we provide capacity building opportunities for the team without taking them away from their families and commitments here in the Cook Islands. This pilot program will open doors for more NES staff to enrol in the future.’