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We’ve been a little remiss in getting the good word out on this one, but we’ve been celebrating a very exciting win for three of our recent graduates and the program…


Vic Tas GOTYA winner Cassie Byrnes. Image courtesy Elleni Toumpas Photography

2014 Alumna Cassie Byrnes recently won the Design Institute of Australia‘s Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year (GOTYA) Award. Not only did Cassie win the Fashion and Textiles category, she also took out the Overall GOTYA for Victoria Tasmania! (She was also in the running for the Australasian GOTYA, but was pipped at the post by an entrant from Massey University in New Zealand).

GOTYA is a unique awards program created to support designers in the early stages of their career, as well as recognise emerging excellence in various design disciplines. The nominated 2014 graduates from Victoria and Tasmania universities were evaluated on their design solutions, transferrable workplace skills and predicted impact on the Australian design industry.


GOTYA winner Cassie Byrnes. Image courtesy Elleni Toumpas Photography


Cassie said she was shocked and excited upon being awarded the State GOTYA prize.
“This award really affirms my desire to pursue textile design as well as my capacity to flourish as an independent textile designer, …My gratitude goes to the teachers in RMIT’s textile design program. They nurtured, challenged and pushed me to think about design differently; to explore and research ideas from new perspectives….”


Here’s a taste of Cassie’s award winning project work from her Graduate folio:

Image: “Gondwanaland” by Cassie Byrnes


Image: ‘Oxidise’ by Cassie Byrnes
Image: ‘The Iconics’ by Cassie Byrnes


The BATD program swept the entire Fashion and Textiles category at the Vic Tas GOTYA’s – Rebekah Archer was awarded Runner up, and Lauren Tausend was recognised with a Highly Commended award.


L-R: Our GOTYA winners! Highly commended Lauren Tausend, GOTYA Cassie Byrnes, Runner Up Rebekah Archer. Image courtesy Elleni Toumpas Photography

Head of School Fashion and Textiles Professor Robyn Healy said Byrnes’ win was a testament to the unique method of learning and teaching at RMIT. “The RMIT Textile Design program is globally celebrated for its diverse and innovative approach to design practice,….The program focuses on both traditional and contemporary skills, inspiring students to develop innovative textile design concepts – which can be seen in Cassie’s winning work.”

Congratulations to Cassie, Rebekah and Lauren – if you’d like to see more of their individual work, or get in contact with them direct, check out their profiles on our Graduates page


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