The Diploma of Graphic Design graduate gave a heartfelt graduate address to her fellow graduates and “cheer squads” at the Design Graduation in Sydney on Tuesday 3 May, 2022.
It was easy to see that this was the moment Peita had been dreaming of for years.
“This is the right time for me to graduate from design school,” Peita opened her graduate address. “It has taken a long time to get here.”
Honoured and humbled to be offered the chance to represent her cohort of graduates, Peita praised the calibre of her peers before offering the details of her transformational journey.
“Right, it’s time!”
For years, Peita, in her words, had a steady but unsatisfying career in real estate, which she aptly described “as if anything could be further from design.”
“Very broadly, design and the expression of creativity have always been an important part of my life, but never part of my career.”
Peita felt she was destined for a creative career, but she was waiting for the perfect time to make such a major transition.
“The creative career I dreamt of was something I thought I would pursue when the time was right, when we have travelled a bit, when we have bought a house, when we have a better handle on the mortgage, when we have kids, when the kids are older,” explained Peita.
The longer she waited for the right time, the more delightfully complex her life became.
“For things to change, ‘waiting for the right time’, had to be reframed as ‘right, it’s time!’”, said Peita, finally taking the plunge to commence her studies at Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia.
It’s the legacy that drew Peita to study with Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University
Her memories of being mesmerised by the pint-sized Billy Blue Magazine when she was younger, and the decades-long solid reputation of Billy Blue College of Design, were what drew Peita to choose to study her Diploma of Graphic Design at Torrens University Australia.
“It was the only option,” she proudly professed.
She joked that it was scary to think that the final issue of the magazine was produced in 1990, a good decade before most of her graduate peers were born.
“As I said, it’s taken a long time to get here,” she joked.
The opportunity to study as a mature aged student was exhilarating.
“I loved it. I tried hard and I did well,” beamed Peita. “I always made sure to add an extra spoonful of effort to my assessments because I was so grateful to finally be at Billy Blue College of Design. Wow!”
The classic balancing act with some surprises thrown in
Married with two school aged children, Peita scraped together time for study and assessments by using the “ungodly hour” to her advantage.
Alongside drops offs, pickups, lockdowns, home schooling, a fractured ankle, and supporting and being supported by her husband whose career in Public Health had never been busier than across COVID, Peita managed to juggle, and excel, in her studies.
She also enjoyed the opportunities for two inspiring internships, one at Ligature Journal at Tiliqua Press, the other at Billy Blue Creative after her design of the visual identity for INTRO2021 was selected as the winning design for the graduate exhibition. She also spent an amazing term studying at AWARD School (Australasian Writers & Art Directors School).
“It is exhausting to think about, but it made me so happy,” said Peita. “I can’t believe I thought I have to wait for the right time.”
Peita also exhibited at INTRO2021, our Billy Blue College of Design Graduate Exhibition. Check out her graduate work here.
Shout out to her fellow fresh alumni
“Now that it’s over, I think back on all the clever, creative, and curious young designers I studied with and whose work I saw at the graduate exhibitions and I am proud and a bit choked up to say, ‘I am now part of the design industry with YOU’,” said Peita saluting her peers, clearly emotional and proud.
Now part of Torrens University alumni network, and members of the community of creative practitioners, Peita urged the new alumni to stand together, to support and connect with each other to develop our craft.
“It’s our time. I am sure all my fellow graduates join me in feeling an incredible sense of pride, achievement, and relief that we have arrived.”
A calling to create a better world through design
“Everything starts with design. It touches every aspect of our lives,” said Peita. “Every one of us will make an impact on the future of design. If everything starts with design, let’s start with design for good.”
“We have the power to really improve people’s experiences and benefit everyone in our new world. This is such a crucial time to make a positive impact.”
Peita challenged her fellow alumni to start afresh and put a bold foot down to act decisively in the better interests of the planet for generations to come.
“Let’s respect our resources and design responsibly, innovate to eliminate plastic and offer our clients and customers sustainable choices with less waste. We need to be resolute in prioritising a circular economy - there is a lot at stake.”
Peita aligned her challenge with our values here at Torrens University Australia.
“Our creative challenge is mighty. To be good, to be creative, to be bold, to be well, to be global,” said Peita, coming full circle in her address, finishing as she had started by referring to timing.
“So, don’t wait. It’s time. We are ready and equipped for what lies ahead. Now is the right time.”
Sydney’s International Convention Centre’s full crowd erupted with raucous applause at the end of Peita Jackson’s graduate speech. Her journey had clearly hit a spot with her fellow design graduates, and their family and friends.