Page 1416 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 May 2006

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Certified Practising Accountants and the College of Education. He has tertiary and post-graduate qualifications in business, management and education. In his message on the CIT website, Dr Veenker expresses the advantages of attending an institute of technology and, in particular, the ACT’s CITs. He states:

We provide an exciting and flexible learning environment to help you access a range of programs.

That range of programs has assisted many in the Canberra community. I, too, was lucky enough to attend a further educational facility in the ACT—the Reid TAFE, in fact—when I was working as a service technician in the early 1980s. Although Dr Veenker has been involved in higher educational facilities for many years, he is not quite old enough to have been around when I attended.

He was, however, Chief Executive of the CIT when my son began attending the institution some four years ago, in the faculty of tourism and hotel management. I was present at my son’s final accreditation for the presentation side of his apprenticeship as a chef earlier this year. It was the buffet, and I was impressed to see the high levels of skills that all the students possessed. It was indeed an incredible evening for food lovers.

Although this is not entirely due to the teaching of Dr Veenker, it highlights the tremendous effort he has made to maintain a high level of success at the CIT. In the 10 years that the retired Dr Peter Veenker was the Chief Executive of the Canberra TAFE, he was involved in many of the institute’s achievements. There are far too many to mention them all, but I would like to mention a few that spring to mind.

Dr Veenker was instrumental in achieving Australia’s alliance with PIN. PIN is the Postsecondary International Network and is an international alliance of 31 post-secondary educational institutions in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and, as I have already mentioned, Australia. PIN was one of Dr Veenker’s proudest achievements, as it had the desired ability to allow students to study at different international institutions without it affecting their marks.

In 2004 he accepted, on behalf of the CIT, an Australian crime and violence prevention award for the institute’s outstanding contribution to reconditioning convicted criminals with the Right Turn Program, a fully accredited course in which groups of people, known to authorities as car thieves, repair and maintain a motor vehicle and give it to a member of the community who has been affected by car theft. They are then given a chance to get into the work force, with the assistance of vocational placements.

Although Dr Veenker has been a long-serving member of further education here in the ACT, it is now time for him to spend some more time doing some of the other things he enjoys in life. Dr Veenker is leaving for the farming life in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland, Victoria. It is with great pleasure that I stand here tonight to pay tribute to Dr Veenker. It is his passion and interest in higher education that the Canberra community, including me, will sadly miss. I wish you continued success in your newly chosen life and hope the weather is good to you.

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