Rachel Grunwell

Rachel Grunwell is a fitness writer for the Herald on Sunday.

High-end fashion model graduates

Catalogue model achieves seven-year goal with psychology degree

Grace Barcelos Owen has graduated with a post-graduate diploma in counselling psychology. Photo / Doug Sherring
Grace Barcelos Owen has graduated with a post-graduate diploma in counselling psychology. Photo / Doug Sherring

It's a new life and love for top Kiwi model Grace Barcelos Owen, who is well known from high-end fashion magazines, Farmers catalogues and as the face of Evolu skincare.

She graduated last week through AUT as a fully registered psychologist. While on stage to receive her post-graduate diploma in counselling psychology — the final piece of seven years' study — she got a "special surprise".

Her new partner, Luke, a sculptor, played a horn from her homeland Brazil as friends held the Brazilian flag and cheered.

She celebrated with a dinner with friends at her home. "It's not a journey you can do on your own. I feel very lucky and special," she said.

She credits achieving her "dream" to friends and her husband, Craig Owen, who took his own life two years ago. He was a high-profile fashion and advertising photographer who worked with big names like Elle Macpherson.

"Craig is a part of who I am in a lot of ways.

"He's got a special place in my heart and he's with me every day and I'm grateful. I don't think I would have come this far without his love and support," she said.

In March this year, it was reported there were disagreements over his estate, but Barcelos Owen said this had been resolved.

She has opened her own private practice, Richmond Psychology in Grey Lynn, and works elsewhere with clients with addictions.

She still models part-time — recently with Macleans, D&M Hair Design and designer Yvonne Bennetti.

Almost 2,500 AUT students received qualifications at five ceremonies over two days.

- Herald on Sunday

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