Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Australia hands over K2.2 million teaching facilities to Bougainville Technical College

Bougainville Technical College’s (BTC) 600 students and teaching staff in Tinputz District are proud recipients of new classrooms and office facilities funded by the Government of Australia.

The official opening and handover of the educational facilities was attended by the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Hon. Ishmael Toroama, Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Jon Philp, Minister for Education Hon. Thomas Pataaku, Minister for Community Development Morris Opeti and representatives from the ABG Department of Education, staff, students, parents of BTC and members of nearby communities in Tinputz District.  

High Commissioner Jon Philp said giving high school graduates the skills to live productive lives, and providing high-quality industry relevant training is the way forward for Bougainville.

The upgrade to the college – building of additional classrooms for students including conference rooms and offices – are part of Australia’s commitment to responding to the priorities of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

“We know the importance for Bougainville Technical College as the key institution providing those skills such as trade skills and that’s why since 2020, Australia has supported Bougainville Technical College under the Australia Pacific Technical Coalition program,” adds Mr Philp.

He said it is not just upgrade of buildings but providing relevant quality skills training that will enable graduates to get better jobs in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea or Australia, is just as important.

President Toroama acknowledged the support from the Government of Australia for the development of education in Bougainville.

“The BTC is the major technical college for higher education across Bougainville. Education plays an important role in developing a nation’s capacity, and Bougainville is grateful to Australia for its generous support in developing this school infrastructure. I know the students and teachers are happy and proud of this addition to the campus facilities,” said the President.

The new building will be the centre for business and management studies at the BTC. The upgrades include a new fully furnished two-storey teaching building with three classrooms that can accommodate up to 100 students at a time, a conference room, and three large office spaces for management and administration functions, staff rooms and kitchen facilities.

The project manager of the construction works, local Bougainvillean woman Brenda Tibola, said the building comes with disability access, including ramps and rails and perimeter solar flood-lighting to improve security for all students and staff. An ablution block, a sizeable storage facility and repairs to the existing office administration building were also part of the project.

Principal of the College, Lising Tooshi, said he was deeply grateful for this generous support. “It will play a pivotal role in shaping the future for our children. BTC has been instrumental in providing quality education and skills training to our students. I believe that with these new buildings, we can function on a whole new level – it will boost student learning and creates a good working environment for the teachers,” he said.

The complete construction and refurbishment of the various facilities provided under this package has taken 15 months at a cost of PGK 2.2million.  All contracts and payments were made to companies and individuals in Bougainville and PNG. Under the head building contractor, 50,000 hours of employment were created for the largely Bougainvillean construction crew, related sub-contractors such as trucking and shipping contractors, and local building materials suppliers.

President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Hon. Ishmael Toroama (third from right), Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, H.E Jon Philp (fourth from right) and Ministers from the Autonomous Bougainville Government at the opening of the new facilities.

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100