Saturday, 22 January 2011, 1.00pm
Chancellor, Vice-chancellor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow graduates, family and friends. It is a great honour for me to have the opportunity to speak here today on behalf of the student body.
Today is a day to celebrate our achievements and enjoy the rewards of our hard work, sacrifice and dedication. It is also a time to reflect on our journey and how we came to be here today.
For me the journey at ECU started in 1997 at the Churchlands campus studying for my bachelor’s degree in primary teaching. Fresh out of high school I was more than a little naive and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, but I recognised the importance of getting a university degree. ECU gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and grow as a person as I discovered the direction I wanted to take. After 2 years I decided I needed a break from my studies to travel the world and the flexibility of being able to defer my studies was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. During this time I realised that my education was important if I wanted to reach my goals in life and I returned to ECU, completing my teaching degree in 2003.
The skills and knowledge I had gained at ECU enabled me to have a rewarding and fulfilling career as a teacher in several countries as a result of a university degree that is recognised all over the world. Although I have now chosen a different path, it is an experience I will always cherish.
My third stint at ECU has been my most rewarding. After deciding that I wanted a career in business I again looked to ECU as a place to gain the skills, knowledge and qualification necessary to take a new career path. With the advantage of maturity I finally realised that my education is the best investment I will ever make and that the rewards from study are directly correlated with the amount of effort you put in.
Now that I have completed my Masters I look back on my time at ECU, extending over many years and 3 campuses as a wonderful time in my life. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have been given as I look to utilise my education in a new and exciting future career.
My fellow graduates, this is my journey at ECU but each of you has your own to reflect on. I am sure you are all eager to finish studying and enter the workforce. You probably won’t miss the assignments, the late nights studying or the 3 hour exams but I am sure you will look back at your time at ECU with fondness and remember the friendships you made, the challenges you overcame and the success you have had.
We have worked hard for our success but it would not have been possible if not for the support of the staff at ECU. On behalf of the graduating students I would like to thank all the lecturers, tutors and support staff that have provided guidance, wisdom and inspiration throughout our time at ECU.
Our families and friends have also provided immeasurable support and our gratitude goes out to them. Without them this moment would not be possible and I am sure there are many proud parents out there today.
Finally, congratulations to my fellow graduates. We graduate today with the skills and attributes that will enable us to reach our potential and fulfill our dreams. It is time to reap the rewards of our hard work and seize the opportunities that now present themselves. I wish you every success in your chosen professions and an exciting future ahead of you.
Thank you and have a great day!