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International Women’s Day (IWD): Inspiring HSDC students

March 8, 2021


By Paul Parsons, HSDC Art & Design Lecturer

I was reading an article about International Women’s Day (IWD) which said although IWD has been celebrated across the world since 1908, we’ve still got a long way to go before we achieve gender equality. According to last year’s ‘Women In The Workplace Report’, the global pay gap between men and women will take 202 years to close. On top of this, 42% of women say they’ve faced workplace discrimination.

This made me think with such pride about so many women who have graduated from HSDC and are totally inspiring and doing great things in the industry who deserve to be celebrated. In truth, there are way too many to mention that I have personally worked with but I thought I’d celebrate five talented former students who deserve respect due to their hard work, commitment and ability.

Thanks for being an inspiration:

Sebastinella Dunne: Sebastinella is now a mid-weight designer in London. Progressing from her creative A Levels at HSDC to Art University Bournemouth, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphics with first-class honours. Sebastinella also won a prestigious D&AD Award that promotes excellence in design and advertising. I’ll never forget her crisp packet artwork inspired by ‘my dog sighs’, a true indication that people aren’t always correct and that you should fight for what she believes in, Sebastinella, you’re great, never change!


Laura & Chloe Piper: Laura and Chloe are a mural and graphic design duo specialising in hand lettering and painted artwork. They work in a wide variety of materials and are known for their hand-painted pieces and eye-catching designs. They call themselves 2 Sisters and have created work for clients such as The Hilton Hotel, The Spinnaker Tower, Whiteley Shopping Centre, The Mary Rose Museum, Dior, Boots, and Openreach. I can honestly say that the Pipers’ drive for success is a total inspiration, you can’t stop these women.


Robyn Montague: Robyn is a multimedia journalist and producer currently working for Sky News. Before this, she was a broadcast journalist for BBC News and BBC South Today. What an inspiration Robyn is. I remember hearing her present the news on the national radio in which she researched, wrote, edited, produced and presented the news bulletins! Robyn – you’re such a professional.



Melissa Casey: Melissa progressed from HSDC to the University of Lincoln, earning her Graphic Design degree with first-class honours. She was a model student at College and has developed into an outstanding digital designer and studio leader. Melissa is an award-winning digital and motion designer. She has successfully sold ideas to clients on new business pitches, winning a £1m+ account. Melissa has successfully designed engaging content clients such as Cadbury, Adobe and many more. What a career and with so much more coming, Melissa thanks for inspiring so many of our students over the years!


I have had the privilege of working with so many talented people over the past few years and I can’t wait to work with the next set of talented people in the future. It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March. For more information go to