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The Challenge

Don Bosco College and Vocational Technical Centre, Salelologa was opened by the Samoan Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga in 2011 to provide students of Savai’I with a vocational and technical education. According to the Archbishop, “…The idea of setting up Don Bosco here at Salelologa is to keep students in their homes while attending school.”

The school aims to provide Junior Secondary students with the prescribed academic curriculum, while giving them the opportunity to explore and experience trade skills. At the end of Year 11, students can choose to either continue with their academic studies or pursue their talents with a trade.

As this is a newly developing Centre, the school requires the guidance of an experienced volunteer to help them officially document their five technical programs: Plumbing & Sheet Metal; Carpentry & Joinery; Welding & Fitting; Motor Mechanics and Tourism & Hospitality. The assistance of a volunteer will ensure quality and compliance with the Samoan Qualification Authority.

How We’re Helping

Palms Australia has recruited volunteer Helen Colla from Victoria, who has 12 years of specific experience in auditing and compliance management across various training and technical centres. Helen most recently worked for the Housing Industry Association (HIA) where she held the role of National Audit and Compliance Manager.

By the end of her placement, Helen’s work at Don Bosco will have:

  • Created a technical program that has ongoing accreditation and is compliant with the Quality Management System standards and the Samoan Qualification Authority;
  • Provided technical educational opportunities for young women and men;
  • Enabled students from rural areas to remain with their families while undertaking their secondary education;
  • Provided approved and accredited technical qualifications for students that enable opportunities for future employment.

Is the Project Sustainable?

Helen is a qualified and experienced compliance manager. The skills and knowledge that Helen will be able to impart on local teachers over a two-year time frame will develop the individual capacities of teachers to maintain and document their course standards in quality management and accreditation.

Assisting the College to obtain this accreditation will also ensure ongoing funding and institutional strengthening is provided, which will offer more students an accredited technical program that enhances their educational and employment opportunities.


The amount raised includes the volunteer’s living and accommodation expenses, which have kindly been covered by the host community.

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