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Graduation ceremony third time lucky for Otago Polytechnic CEO

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Megan Gibbons has had plenty of practice polishing her speech for this Friday’s (JULY 23) graduation ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall.

Dr Gibbons first began work on an earlier version of her speech late last year, but that December 2020 ceremony was postponed because of a threat; she then honed a second version for the rescheduled March 2021 event, but a COVID-19 alert level change put paid to that.

Now, it’s third time lucky for Dr Gibbons, who will be joined by more than 280 graduands who were unable to cross the stage either in December or March. Another 2200 people will graduate in absentia, bringing the total to almost 2500.

"It’s been just over 12 months since I was appointed Chief Executive, but this will be the first Otago Polytechnic graduation ceremony l’ll lead," Dr Gibbons says.

"Unfortunately, we had to cancel both the December and March graduations - at great disruption to many learners and their whānau, as well as to our many hard-working staff. So there is much to celebrate on Friday.

"Graduation is a time when we celebrate success, hard work and challenges," Dr Gibbons says.

"I was brought up to believe and value the people around me, particularly whānau, that gender is no barrier, that education is a way forward, that success comes with hard work, and that failure or disappointment makes you stronger and more resilient."

Notably, Otago Polytechnic will celebrate its first Doctoral cap on Friday.

Adrian Woodhouse, of Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design Institute, will receive a Doctorate of Professional Practice for his work, which examines cultural dislocation from a Kai Tāhu perspective and includes a critique of traditional "Eurocentric" culinary teaching.

He, like many graduands, will take part in a pre-graduation parade from the School of Dentistry to the Dunedin Town Hall.

Qualifications for Friday’s ceremony include the New Zealand Certificate in Whānau Ora (a collaborative programme with the Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Training Centre), the innovative Bachelor of Leadership for Change, health programmes such as Midwifery, Nursing and Occupational Therapy, as well as Construction, Engineering, Design, Visual Arts, Veterinary Nursing, Applied Management, Social Services, Applied Science, and Culinary Arts.

Otago Polytechnic’s graduation will be held at the Dunedin Town Hall at 1.30pm on Friday 23 July.

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