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Published: 16 July 2022

By Andy Ross

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Crossing cultures at graduation.. and beyond

The graduation gown inspired by Colombia and New Zealand. 

Eight students were selected this year to design their own gowns for the University of Canterbury graduation ceremony.

Bryant Avenando from Colombia decided to study for his PhD at the University because of the holistic approach of the organisation to study, and the approach that the course he wanted to do, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, takes. In studying he realised that the values inherent in New Zealand's education system have been influenced and guided by a Maori outlook that protects and preserves the land while using it, acknowledging that the relationship between people and land is deep. This led Bryant to work with Maori fashion designer, Kiri Nathan, to create a gown that reflects both his Colombian identity and his studies in Aotearoa New Zealand. The result is a beautiful; an elegant and playful mixture of both. 

To learn more, this link is to the University's newsletter (many thanks to our reader who sent this in), and the video below is Bryant talking about his work, studies and, of course, the gown. 

(Image on this page courtesy of University of Canterbury Media.)