Fund­ing means bright fu­ture for de­sign school

Whangarei Report - - NEWS / OPINION -

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.

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