On 6 March 2020, the PIOA training committee decided to cancel the Apia module scheduled to commence on 23 March. Since we made the decision the Australian government placed a ban on overseas travel for all residents. This ban was then extended by many other countries. We have now also cancelled the second module planned for this year. We hope to recommence training modules again in 2021.
However, we have not wasted any time. We rapidly pivoted to holding a weekly seminar using Zoom. This has been well attended by our students from 7 different Pacific Island Countries. We have been privileged to have lecturers from Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Our students have embraced the future with enthusiasm and commitment. PIOA has offered access to the tutorials to people who are not on the PIOA program, as a way of giving back. We look forward to returning to more hands on and face to face learning in 2021.