SCU teams up with leading design institution

Published 15 January 2004

One of Australia’s leading design training institutions has joined forces with Southern Cross University (SCU) to offer students the chance to combine their creative skills with a teaching qualification.

The Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney offers an extensive range of full-fee paying courses in fashion, interior, styling and promotional design and has produced some of Australia’s leading designers.

Institute principal, Ms Leanne Whitehouse, said from this year students would be able to combine their industry-based design training with an SCU Bachelor of Technology Education degree.

“The breadth of courses we offer is huge, but what we have observed is this massive lack of teachers. There’s a critical shortage of teachers in design and technology,” Ms Whitehouse said.

SCU was selected for the venture because of its regional base and high-quality Technology
Education course, which is one of the very few in the market with a focus on innovation education.

“What we are going to bring to the design teaching world is a formidable, creative approach to design and technology teaching. We believe SCU will be the perfect union.”

Ms Whitehouse said the combination of a leading edge qualification in design and in innovation and technology eduction would ensure graduates had flexible career opportunities.

Among the graduates of Whitehouse are: Georgie Williamson (daughter of singer John Williamson) who is a major designer for Echo in Los Angeles; Rehanah Bouchan, head accessories designer for Gucci, Switzerland; and Lucy Rickard, designer for the Webster Group (David Lawrence).

Another Whitehouse graduate, Aimee Handsaker, has already taken advantage of the association with SCU. She moved to Coffs Harbour to do the Bachelor of Technology Education, after completing her Diploma of Fashion Design and Textiles in 1999.

“I love fashion design and teaching. I will be applying for jobs in both areas and I have just had an offer from Whitehouse to teach some of their drawing workshops,” Aimee said.

While Aimee will be the first student to complete the combined program, from this year students will be able to stay in Sydney and complete both qualifications at the Whitehouse Institute.

Ms Marilyn Chaseling, Director of Projects in the School of Education at Southern Cross University, said the quality of work from the Whitehouse Institute was phenomenal and this partnership would provide students with even greater opportunities.

“The program combines recognised industry training in design with professional teacher qualifications in innovation and technology education,” Ms Chaseling said.

“It’s a solid investment into their future.”

For course information contact the Whitehouse Institute of Design on 02 92678799 or email

Caption: Contemporary evening wear, designed by Graduate Diploma student Sharn Richards, on show during the 2003 Whitehouse Institute of Design student parade.

Media contact: Brigid Veale, SCU Media Liaison, 66593006 or m. 0439 680 748.