Students collaborate to help cancer charity

Breast cancer is claiming the lives of two New Zealand women every day, and one woman is diagnosed with the disease every three hours.

Otago Polytechnic students from a range of disciplines are combining their brain power in a bid to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Cure charity, which is striving to slow the death rate by 1% each year.

At present, 89% of women diagnosed with early breast cancer are surviving more than five years.

But for the remaining 11%, there is still no cure and the organisation’s focus remains on this group and the 20%-30% who subsequently go on to develop advanced breast cancer.

Since Breast Cancer Cure was established, it has funded many significant research projects in New Zealand, totalling nearly $11 million.

Otago Polytechnic event management, hairdressing, fashion, beauty and photography students are working with the charity to create Odyssey for a Cure, which will raise more much-needed funds.

Otago Polytechnic College of Creative Practice and Enterprise principal lecturer Rachel Byars said the fundraiser would be held at the Sargood Centre this Friday, and would feature an evening of fashion by New Zealand designers Sara Munro (Company of Strangers) and Charmaine Reveley, along with Otago Polytechnic School of Design fashion students.

As well as providing support to a much-needed organisation, the student-led initiative was a good example of the polytechnic’s real-world, applied approach to learning, she said.

"What makes learning at Otago Polytechnic great is the hands-on experiences that we offer students.

"For example, our third-year event management students are required to bring to life an event for an actual client — in this case, Breast Cancer Cure.

"These opportunities, provided within a safe learning environment, enable them to build a range of capabilities, such as collaborating, communicating and managing time.

"These are all powerful skills that they will be able to use in their future careers."

Tickets are still available for the event.



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