Unwrapping Open Day and Meeting the Administrative Officer Team

Happy Spring everyone! This Houndstooth blossoms forth with an in-depth look at Open Day and springs into conversations with the AO (Administrative Officer) cluster, lightly sprouting into the progress of the ‘Brunswick Plant’, garden project.


RMIT Open Day, 12 August

On a cold winter Sunday in August, the Brunswick campus hosted the Fashion and Textiles Open Day. One of the most hotly anticipated events of the day is the fashion showcase. Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management) student Eloisa Travers was the student MC on the day. She and Diploma of Fashion Styling student Mandy Kgakololo share some insights.

The last time Eloisa attended Open Day she was a high school student preparing for her university application. This year, her experience was very different, being on the other side of the stage and an intrinsic part of how the school is represented.

“The highlight of the day was witnessing some amazing work from other students in different courses… It was great to work with people I hadn’t worked with before, to get involved and make connections with people outside of my degree and beyond my own teachers.”

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Design by Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) student Ryley Wilson (Model Izzi, Chadwick Models)

As student MC, the day was full of surprises: “I found it difficult at first to find a rhythm. The most challenging part of the day was understanding how the logistics were operating due to the fact that I wasn’t involved with the preparation decisions.”  

However, “being adaptable and quick thinking will benefit me greatly in future jobs so the challenges were also great opportunities to learn more. These skills are practices I will take into my future career.”

For Mandy, “the real highlight was seeing the looks going down the runway for the audience to view. It’s always incredible seeing what hard work can physically produce. As a stylist it’s nothing short of adrenaline rush. Seeing people’s reaction to the garments was so exciting; everyone involved was really happy with both shows.”

“There were some amazing pieces but there was a red garment with a headpiece that was unbelievable; the first time I saw it I almost collapsed, it was absolutely breathtaking. Aside from loving the colour, which is my favourite, I just loved how dramatic it looked; it intrigued me. The designer [Mimi Rose Cummins] is very talented.”

Because I was back-of-house and this was my first co-produced show I was pretty nervous. It could get quite chaotic, especially with models taking a long time to get into their next looks, and that was nerve racking. However, it was really just momentarily and the excitement of seeing the shows come together made it all worth it.” 

“The whole experience taught me so much. To make a great show you must be patient and kind with people. I think, if I am given a runway opportunity in future I will definitely take it. I might even produce my own ‘tiny’ runway and see how that goes. I now know a lot about what it takes to produce a show and I would love to do it again.”

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Designs by, L-R: Jasmine Failla and Jing Yan Chen; Amanda Nicols; Kristen Frewen; and Amanda Nicols.

Thank you to Brianna Pettenuzzo and Christian Lukasik for the great photos and to Eloisa and Mandy for sharing your experiences with us.


Meeting the Administrative Officers

An office on the ground floor of building 511 on the Brunswick campus is home to many of the Administrative Officer (AO) team. This group is fundamental to the functioning and great success of our programs.

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The wonderful AO Team! L-R: Jemima Olsen, Fatima Abdallah, Kerry Bromley; (back row): Brendan Yung, Lisa Zerbe, David Castle; (front row): Antida Liistro, Suzanne Doheny, Liz Debono, Anna Deisis

Remarking on their favourite part of the job, everyone mentioned that being part of a team was important, as well as how supportive and fun their colleagues are to work with. Jem, Kerry and Liz also said that they really enjoy working with the students at Brunswick campus and seeing the amazing things they achieve.

Many of the AOs have been at RMIT for a long time. In fact, Liz has worked at RMIT for over 25 years! Jem and Brendan are the newest, having both been here for less than three years. This newness is sometimes a problem for Brendan as students often assume he is a student ambassador.

Knowing how busy they are, to find out a bit more about the team, we asked them an in-depth question about what colour in the crayon box they would be…

  • Jem would be aqua;
  • Fatima calm blue;
  • Kerry would be black, because “everything seems better in black”;
  • Desire for peace and calmness led Antida to Cyan/ Turquoise, the colour of life, nature and energy; the exquisite colour of the Mediterranean sea in the Island of Gozo Malta where she was born;
  • Brendan green, his favourite colour;
  • Anna purple, reflective of her free spirit and her sensitive, understanding and supportive personality;
  • The bright and positive colour yellow for Liz;
  • For Lisa, more green, the life-giving colour that reflects nature;
  • And Suzanne a wonderful rainbow crayon.

(We also discovered that Anna can dance an expert belly dance; Jem has a passion for textiles and is often working on a new project or exhibition piece; Antida is an artist who loves the meditative effect of painting; Brendan is a talented classical pianist; Lisa has the ability to create order out of chaos; and Liz has the amazing capacity to write with both hands simultaneously. The rest of the team remain a mystery!)


Brunswick Plant News

In the seven seasons of the Kulin people, the months of September/October are Poorneet/Tadpole Season. The temperatures are rising and plants like the Flax Lily and the the Myrnong/Yam Daisy are flowering.

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Myrnong (Yam Daisy)

On Brunswick campus, change is afoot. Some trees have been removed and the new garden space is swiftly coming together. Michael the gardener tells us that the eucalyptus hedge and the climbing raspberry canes will be going in soon, along with the cluster plantings in the beds. The paths have been laid and a selection of VegePods (raised, movable beds with mesh covers) and wooden box planters have been made at home. The textile composter has been built and is ready to break down calico fibres.

With the weather warming steadily, the conditions will soon be right for putting in beetroots and cabbages. Last week, the gardening tools arrived – shiny new trowels and forks as well as secateurs and gloves. Shortly, we will invite you to come and plant seedlings with us. Stay tuned.

Next month we have a bumper issue – a showcase of events RMIT staff and students were involved with during MFW. We look forward to sharing it with you. In the meantime, enjoy the spring sunshine!

– Compiled by Harriette Richards, Research Assistant for the School of Fashion and Textiles