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CIT Fashion Students Participate in Cambodia Skills Training Project

Published: 13 Apr 2016

Eight CIT Diploma of Applied Fashion students are preparing to travel to Cambodia to assist in skills development for women in remote locations, promoting self-sufficiency and financial independence through garment construction.

The group of CIT students and staff will join with non-profit organisation Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA – a global humanitarian aid agency focused on skills development for marginalised people around the world – at a training centre in Kampot to assist in the skills development project.

Head of Department for CIT Design Industries, Clive Hutchison, said the project is a fantastic opportunity for the students to expand their knowledge of the industry and global issues, and be part of a real solution through practical skills training.

"The project will broaden the students' worldview and experience of another language and culture. It will provide them with insights into fashion design and production within a different cultural context, and is a great example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved through practical skills training and education, something we are very passionate about at CIT," Mr Hutchison said.

"The students will work closely with trainers and Cambodian and Laos villagers who are building the garment design and construction skills of women in remote villages to be able to make wedding dresses and establish a source of income. The empowering of women and girls is at the heart of the project."

CIT fashion teacher James Gould will be accompanying the students on the trip, and says he hopes the opportunity will challenge the students' perceptions and inspire them in their own fashion practice.

"CIT's fashion design courses have a strong focus on sustainable fashion and promoting a sustainable, ethical industry that values the people that work across all stages of the fashion process.

"This trip will further challenge the students to see how fashion design and construction skills within an ethical and sustainable framework can offer a real solution for issues of poverty, isolation and vulnerability.

"The students will be achieving course competencies through this experience, and we hope they are also inspired to incorporate traditional Cambodian textile practices into their own body of work and designs going forward," Mr Gould said.

This study abroad opportunity has been made possible with funding from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training's Asia Vocational Education and Training (Asia VET) Program.

The students will depart for Cambodia for 10 days from 22 April.

Media enquiries:
Deborah Nesbitt, phone (02) 6207 8218 or 0402 398 612, or email

Course enquiries:
Canberra Institute of Technology, phone (02) 6207 3188 or email