At a relaxed and semi-informal ceremony in Wellington last Thursday 23 February, another eight students from the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM (NZSATCM) graduated with the Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) degree. One student also recived a Diploma of Tui Na. Peter Larking, senior lecturer at NZSATCM compered the evening. Peter told the assembled students, their families and friends that this was an exceptional group of students and said how much he had enjoyed their enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge.
Director of the School, Karuna Olatunji addressed the group on behalf of the School and congratulated the students on their achievements. Karuna also acknowledged the families of the graduates and the roles they all played in helping the students achieve their goals. Outlining how the School has grown from a handful of students, Karuna also thanked the staff of the school both past and present for helping to bring the school to where it is today. In 2012 the School will celebrate 20 years of providing education to students of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in New Zealand.
The President of NZRA, Paddy McBride, also addressed the students and welcomed them to the profession. She encouraged them to continue to learn more about Chinese Medicine but also to use each consultation as an opportunity to further educate the general public as to the many and varied benefits of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Paddy spoke of the greater acceptance there now is for Acupuncture in New Zealand and in the west generally and how it plays a role in the healthcare of so many Kiwis - from tiny babies through to those in their 80's and 90's.
After the presentation of the Degrees to the students, Peter spoke of the great loss of Pacifico Garcia. Pacifico was the Head of Western Medical Sciences until his very unexpected and untimely death in July last year.Peter and Karuna then presented the inaugural Pacifico Garcia Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence to one of the graduating students, Sharon Conroy.