Funding means bright future for design school
Scott Burdett and Karen Gidall have packed a lot into their lives.
Burdett, 32, has represented Northland internationally in boccia — similar to bowls and petanque — and powerchair football, he holds a diploma in digital multimedia and works as a sports reporter at Magic Music FM.
Gidall, 69, has owned various companies, including a food catering business, made it into the first intake of the first New Zealand Masterchef, holds certificates in business and is studying whakairo (carving) at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
Now the pair have graduated with a level 3 certificate in graphic design at The Design School Whanga¯ rei.
“I watch a lot of anime and it has influenced me throughout my life and I just wanted to put pen to paper and see what I would be able to do. It’s always fascinated me so I thought I’d give the course a go,” Burdett said.
Gidall decided to study graphic design because she wanted to help her daughter with book covers for her online publishing company.
The Design School Whanga¯ rei, which opened in 2014 and teaches graphic and fashion design, held an exhibition and open day on Thursday where students’ work was displayed.
Managing director Mike Saywell said 12 students graduated and 15 more are part way through their qualifications.
“We’re very pleased with how 2018 has gone. The quality of work has again outstripped our expectations by a long way,” he said.
Two years ago the school’s future was up in the air after the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) indicated it would not fund the level two fees-free courses, which meant the school would close.
But at the last moment the school was told it would receive funding which covered 2016 and the next 12 months.
Saywell said now the funding for the next two years has been confirmed.
“It’s just awesome. It’s much better than we were a couple of years ago. That was a harrowing experience actually.”
Burdett has TAR syndrome, characterised by the absence of bones connecting the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist, but said it doesn’t cause any graphic design challenges.
Gidall said her favourite thing was being encouraged to go further all the time.
Design School Whanga¯ rei graduates Scott Burdett and Karen Gidall.