Elle Fairgray

Ellie is taking up a number of different opportunities at Victoria University of Wellington, including the chance to be part of an international field study.

Ellie Fairgray Landscape Architecture coursework: in the foreground, a child running on a bridge. In the background, a river, people walking, tents, a hut, and pukekos.

Growing up on a farm near New Plymouth, Elle was sceptical about moving to Wellington for study, but it didn’t take long for that to change.

“The accessibility of the city makes it so easy to fit everything into daily life—university, exercise and social life. Staying in a hall of residence in first year is a great way to meet and make lifelong friends. I have really enjoyed the social culture of Wellington and the proximity of parks for hiking and cycling to the city.”

Elle was drawn to Landscape Architecture because she loves the idea of working with the natural and built environments. She says the programme is challenging but she has gained skills and grown through the opportunities offered.

“I went on an international field study in third year, visiting three major cities in Europe, analysing and comparing the landscape design and public spaces in each. It was an unforgettable trip—it taught me so much about landscape architecture and how it is approached within different contexts and time periods.”

Another highlight of Elle’s studies was entering an Australian–New Zealand Landscape Architecture competition with her team being named in the top 10.

Elle has also taken advantage of the opportunity to take part in the Wellington Plus programme, the University’s service and leadership development programme, through which she will take part in the Aspiring Leaders Forum in Wellington.