Thu 16 May 2019

Celebration day

No two stories are the same, and each one is special.

When WITT students parade through New Plymouth at 4pm today (May 17) it will be a very public display of personal achievements coupled with a healthy dose of nurturing from tutors.

Among those who will be collecting certificates and diplomas will be students already familiar to WITT News readers

Rhonda Morshead’s story of a career switch from banking to beauty was told in December 2017. Another chapter has been added – when she marches today, it will be as someone who owns her own business.

Rhonda, who spent two years at Witt studying and achieving her Cidesco International Diploma, opened her own clinic – Hidden Beauty – in New Plymouth last month.

WITT News met Cheyenne Robins when she was a Build a Batch student. Last year she completed a New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills and has since earned an apprenticeship with Pepper Construction.

She and fellow student Michael Adams spoke at the opening of WITT’s new carpentry block last August. He told the audience WITT had “no cap on diversity” and offered “so many avenues and resources”.

He is also graduating and has also found work in the building industry in Taranaki.

Aashan (Ash) Khatri has the role of speaking on behalf of WITT students at the main graduation ceremony today.

Hamilton born, Taranaki raised Ash completed the 27 week summer school level 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery and did so while working at the Novotel Hobson St.

He has been at the Hobson for almost three years, starting as a kitchen hand and working now as a chef de partie.

Ash studied at Otago University but returned home and enrolled at WITT after deciding that, for him, cookery trumped music, commerce and psychology.

He says the support of tutors, particularly Craig Ludlow and Andrew Brooking, was amazing and gave him confidence at WITT.

“At WITT, more than at university, I found you got direct connections with those teaching you, so their passion rubbed off.”

Coupled with that, his study was completed alongside international students, and aside from sharing international cuisine, friendships were made.

The parade will start at 4.30. Go to  from 12:55pm today for live stream coverage.