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Into the spotlight from behind the scenes

Patricia Dunn-Dube celebrating her graduation at the Durban ICC

Patricia Dunn-Dube recently graduated at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC). She is proud to be one of the first five of her family members to graduate. Patricia comes from a very large family and has 16 siblings, and is very grateful to her parents for their continuous support and encouragement. She is originally from Mandeni and her great-grandfather, John Robert Dunn, was a settler who was appointed as a Zulu chief. She takes pride in her family heritage and what she has achieved.

Patricia was inspired by Sondi Qamata, who was the Public Relations Manager at the Durban ICC. She initially assisted Qamata as the Public Relations Administrator, with limited skills. Qamata encouraged her to study public relations in order to improve her communication skills and knowledge.

Patricia enjoyed her public relations studies. She feels that she has learned and gained knowledge and communication skills that she can use in top businesses. This includes professional writing and oral communication. She is currently working in the hospitality industry, and this has been a great backing for her studies, as the environment is very communication-focused and she deals with internal and external clients and stakeholders.

About her studies at Unisa, Patricia says that long-distance learning is not easy, but that Unisa keeps you well informed. She advises students to be aware that the onus for their studies is on them, and that they need to check their email and communication from Unisa. It is also vital to check the student portal for assignment due dates and to submit assignments on time. Patricia says the benefit of long-distance learning was that it allowed her to be flexible and carry on working. Studying and working fulltime was a challenge, but she managed her time accordingly. She studied after work and in the office to avoid distractions at home. She had to learn to juggle work, children and studying. She has improved her communication skills and has gained more confidence to engage with stakeholders and international clients.

The field of public relations focuses on communication, which forms the basis of all business activities and transactions, in all organisations. At the end of the day, good communication is critical to business success and building beneficial relationships.

Patricia has been managing the Unisa account for more than eight years at the Durban ICC. This year she had the privilege of booking her own graduation venue. She says she will forever be grateful for the support that she has received from Unisa’s KwaZulu-Natal and Pretoria staff.  Eight years ago, she would never have dreamed that she would be attending her own graduation at her workplace. It was a very special day indeed. She intends to further her studies with Unisa and has already applied for admission to the BA Honours course in Integrated Organisational Communication in 2023.  


* By Sakhile Mtshali, Communications Officer, Unisa KwaZulu-Natal Region

Publish date: 2022/11/14