Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

AusAID/TAFEGLOBAL Vocational Training in the Kingdom of Tonga: Some Observations and Case Studies

Margaret Durham, Raymond Durham.

The Kingdom of Tonga is currently undergoing reform of the Public sector, which has included strengthening the private sector. As the selected trainer for the six vocational training programs offered from February 2003 to January 2004, many issues needed to be considered. This paper will discuss and provide case studies on the following themes:
1. In Vanuatu, at a meeting attended by many South Pacific Island Nation’s representatives in January 2003, criticism was made of the Australian Government’s aid programs because of concerns that the Australian Government sought to reinforce its own value system by providing training that would be consistent with Australian government philosophy and practices. To an Australian trainer, this posed many questions on values in education and values education. The training request for five of the training programmes was “Business Ethics” to provide skills in governance and transparency, skills needed to support the Public Sector Reform program funded by the Asian Development Bank. Issues of “values education” in a tradition society will be discussed and case studies discussed

2. In the Kingdom of Tonga, the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources (MLSNR) is the government organization responsible for managing the country’s natural resources. Another important responsibility of the MLSNR is the management of the allocation of an allotment of land, guaranteed by the Constitution to each male Tongan. A request was received from MLSNR to assist in providing vocational skills to the Ministry’s technical experts, specifically in Policy Development and Implementation (PDI). An integral part of the PDI training was community consultation as an educational process with the inclusion of stakeholders. Examples and case studies will be provided with discussion of outcomes.


Margaret Durham  (Australia)
1. Head Teacher of Management and Senior Education Officer TAFEGLOBAL 2. Part-time Lecturer
1. Business Services 2. Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
1. TAFENSW 2. University of Technology, Sydney

Margaret Durham MA (Macq) B Ec (Syd) LLM (Macq) Dip Ed (SCAE)

Margaret Durham’s professional career has been in vocational education, primarily in TAFENSW but also at the University of Technology, Sydney as a Part-time Lecturer.
Her responsibilities have included on campus management of a training team delivering vocational training in Management, Small Business, Marketing and Human Resource Management at Hornsby College in the Northern Sydney Institute.
Since 1999, Margaret’s team has also been actively involved in off campus training in a range of areas, including Frontline Management and Assessment and Workplace Training to private sector and public sector clients.
In 2002, Margaret was asked to conduct training programs in the Kingdom of Tonga as part of the Australian Government’s AusAID In Country Training Program commitment, specifically in corporate governance and transparency in decision-making. This project brought together a range of personal skills and academic interests in a very challenging way. Further requests were received to conduct training on ethical decision-making. Most recently, in January 2004, Margaret conducted training in Policy Development and Implementation for the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources.
Margaret Durham had two terms as Mayoress of the Municipality of Ku-ring-gai, an area of approximately thirty thousand people to the north of Sydney. She has had a long interest in Pacific Island politics and wrote extensively
on this as part of her Master of Arts thesis. More recently, she had the opportunity to extend her knowledge and experience of Local Government and Environmental Law in her Master of Laws studies.
Margaret believes her time in Tonga was one of the most professionally satisfying and valuable learning experiences in her twenty-five year career in vocational training. In February 2004, she was an observer at the East West Center’s Conference on “Development Issues in the Asia Pacific Region” at the University of Hawai’i .

Raymond Durham  (Australia)

University of NSW

  • International education
  • Values in education and values education
  • Vocational training and training for the future
  • Community consultation as an educational process

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)