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Academy for Administrative Professionals Graduation and Award Ceremony 2019

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Bhagya Samadhi receiving a certificate

The Academy for Administrative Professionals Graduation and Award Ceremony took place recently at Colombo Hilton for the 14th consecutive year. University of Kelaniya Prof. of English Maithree Wickramasinghe was the Chief Guest at the occasion.

Welcoming the exclusive invitees, students and families, AAP Executive Director Dr. Sunethra Nugawela said, “Graduation is a special and splendid ceremony culminating hard work, actualisation of goals attained and the acknowledgement of success. 16 and 17 batches of students who are reaching a significant landmark in their lives, need the spotlight on as they have created exceptional and magical moments by sheer dedication and commitment in executing AAP projects as their practical sessions with an aligned vision of community ahead of self.” 

She further stated that AAP students are the pulse of the academy and this bevy of girls are exclusive and requested them to offer the world their resourcefulness, earnestness, thoughtful gestures and laudable skills, as the world is in need of them. She wished them continuous success characterised by empathy, compassion, care, and respect to different cultures, races and socio-economic backgrounds thus transforming every obstacle and challenge to a golden opportunity. She concluded saying to; ‘Think big, dream big, and perform exceptionally in every task whether it is personal or professional’.

Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Chief Guest addressing the gathering said that there is a need to invite and encourage more men into non-traditional spheres of employment and in turn channel more women into male dominated domains of work. It is important for women particularly to be powerful in the workplace because generally they are as a sex and a gender, often powerless within families, in workplaces and in society as a whole.

“It is very important to look at the world in terms of commonalities; which affects both men and women together, and finally individuals. It is also of equal significance to observe worldviews of men and the perspectives of women as the workplaces are governed by the needs, interests, the value and traditions, standards and practices of those who dominate and govern these entities.”

She said as a result workplaces do not take into serious consideration of the multiple roles that society, tradition, family and culture, imputes to women and imputes to men. She was referring to workplace practices, such as workplace harassment and sexual harassment that can become grim concerns for women which may affect physically and psychologically to the extent that their work can suffer. Historically women have fought these battles for gender equality alone. This has led to gender stereotyping of women workers, workplace ridicule and castigation, for things like absenteeism, for inefficiency and distraction on many an occasion.

Workplaces are fast becoming environment friendly, globally. The International Labour Organisation and Scandinavian countries have led the way in recognising the need for a healthy work life balance in ensuring safety and security of women employees from sexual harassment and instituting beneficial work practices that are fair to women and men. Professionals need to be confident enough to speak out on issues of ethics principle and values at the workplace,” she said. 

However, sounding a note of caution, she said there will also be resistance, opposition, perhaps even a backlash when promoting individual institutional workplace and social change. This is where professionals should have strategies to overcome resistance and be strong, she concluded.

The students who have completed the Executive Secretarial and Administrative Practice Higher Diploma successfully were awarded the certificates and awards by the Chief Guest. Batch 16 Batch Top award was grabbed by Priscilla Albert – Executive Secretary Mediquipment Ltd., and Batch 17 – Lalanthi Dolawatta, Trainee Assistant Confidential Secretary of Peoples Bank to AGM Compliance claimed three awards namely Batch Top, Attendance and Creativity. Batch 16 Creativity Award was awarded to Elisha Dissanayake – Personal Assistant to Managing Director of Stretchline Ltd.

Exemplary Life Time Award implemented by AAP, first of its kind globally, is the elevation and recognition bestowed on senior citizens. The distinguished award is honoured to retired administrative professionals for their career advancements, achievements, outstanding contributions to the chosen profession, history of support to AAP, and exhibited conduct, consistent and continuity with passion towards the vision and core values of the society, and profession. 

Varuni Perera who has been an ex-employee of Commercial Bank, student of AAP in 2006 and subsequently completed the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UK) secretarial diploma, a regular attendee and a contributor to AAP, member since 2016 was the unanimous choice of the Award Committee. She claims a remarkable career nearly 40 years, commencing as a typist and retiring as an Executive Assistant was a product of Our Lady of Victories’ and Methodist College. Her forte is teaching English language to deserving students and to be active with AAP as much as possible. AAP wishes this superlative member happy retirement, health, wealth and happiness forever.

AAP membership is free of charge and deserving administrative professionals are invited to join this prestigious academy and to enjoy the array of benefits in offer. The next event of AAP is the annual seminar to be held in March.


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