Third time's the charm for polytech graduation

Otago Polytechnic’s chief executive Megan Gibbons. Photo: Supplied
Otago Polytechnic’s chief executive Megan Gibbons. Photo: Supplied
Megan Gibbons will be crossing her fingers, avoiding ladders and watching out for black cats in the hope it will be ‘‘third time lucky’’ and she will finally be able to give her first graduation speech as Otago Polytechnic’s chief executive at tomorrow’s ceremony.

Dr Gibbons first began work on her speech for the December 2020 ceremony, but it was postponed because of a bomb threat.

Then she honed a second version for the rescheduled March 2021 event, but a Covid-19 alert level change put paid to that.

Otago Polytechnic Graduands parade down George St. Photo: ODT file
Otago Polytechnic Graduands parade down George St. Photo: ODT file

So now she is hoping her third attempt will be charmed.

‘‘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,’’ she said.

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

Dr Gibbons will be joined by more than 280 graduands tomorrow, who were unable to cross the stage in December or March, and another 2200 people will graduate in absentia.

Notably, Otago Polytechnic will celebrate its first doctoral cap — Adrian Woodhouse, who will receive a doctorate of professional practice.

His work examined cultural dislocation from a Kai Tahu perspective, and included a critique of traditional ‘‘Eurocentric’’ culinary teaching.

He will be among those taking part in the pre-graduation parade from the School of Dentistry to the Dunedin Town Hall tomorrow.

Qualifications for the ceremony include the New Zealand Certificate in Whanau Ora (a collaborative programme with the Arai Te Uru Kokiri 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.

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