Faculty of Business and Law - Occasional Speaker
Good evening everyone and can I say it is an absolute pleasure to be here for this very special occasion, one that brings back many fond memories for me.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when I was sitting where you are, excited about graduating from ECU with a degree and looking forward to forging a professional career.
As previously mentioned, I was fortunate to have a successful, albeit brief career in marketing and communications before deciding to make a difference to my local community as an Elected Member in Local Government, now serving as Mayor of the second largest local government in WA and as President of the voice of Local Government in Western Australia.
I have no doubt the skills and attributes I developed at ECU have played a significant role in my achievements to date.
I remember the hours of hard work and study required, but most importantly I remember learning life skills and developing lasting networks and friendships that have proved equally important as completing my degree.
ECU does a wonderful job of providing its students with practical skills and opportunities to develop attributes that are highly sought after in the workforce. You can all be rest assured that you are well armed to enter the workforce and more importantly ready to make a difference.
Whilst theoretical knowledge and academic results are important, so too is developing personal attributes – gaining an understanding of yourself and acquiring the required interpersonal skills that are so integral to success in tomorrow’s world.
I am proud of my involvement in ECU campus life. I was fortunate to serve as ECU Churchlands Campus President in 1994, Guild President in 1995 and as a member of the University Council in 1996.
When I look back at my time at ECU, I now see that my University experiences were the start of a passion for making a difference, whether it be in my workplace, in my profession or in my community. ECU produces graduates that make a difference.
As Churchlands Campus President, I fondly remember lobbying long and hard for a tavern at ECU Churchlands, and not surprisingly had significant support from my fellow students of the day. Our lobbying was eventually successful – but unfortunately for me, I had graduated and moved on by the time the tavern finally opened!
It was fond life-learning experiences like this, practical experiences and the many friendships I enjoyed at ECU over the years that beautifully compliments my degree.
I encourage you all to cherish the results of your hard work, but to also remember the experiences you’ve had and the life skills you take away from your time at ECU.
Both will become important as you seek to forge careers in the world of tomorrow.
Just as you took what seemed like giant steps when you transitioned from High School to University, your next chapter will bring new challenges and exciting opportunities, whether it be in the workforce or pursuing further studies.
Challenges will seem daunting, pressures will feel unrelenting and tight deadlines will morph from one project to the next. But that’s why you hold a degree from ECU, packed with the ammunition and tools that you need, not only to survive these obstacles, but to conquer them and in the process make a difference.
Don’t strive to be like the rest. You are an ECU graduate. You are better than the rest. Draw on your studies and experiences at ECU - be innovative, push the envelope, try something new.
Stand up and make a real difference in what ever you do. Sure, early on you will make mistakes, you will feel battered and bruised and wonder what may lie ahead. The only thing to do is to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and learn from the experience. The more hurdles you face, the easier they are to clear and the broader your sphere of influence becomes.
Importantly though, succeeding in the world of tomorrow requires you to operate outside your comfort zone. To merely operate within your comfort zone results in you being who you are, not who you have the potential to be. Whilst you have now completed your degree, it is merely a foundation for which to build upon, your life long learning journey in tomorrow’s world has just begun.
The City of Joondalup is fortunate to enjoy a special relationship with ECU as part of the Joondalup Learning Precinct and I am constantly reminded of how hard this University works to prepare young students for successful careers.
ECU’s reputation for arming its graduates with the skills and knowledge required to succeed post-University are now renowned and I take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the hard-working administration and teaching faculties for making this possible.
My varied roles in Local Government now take me both interstate and overseas representing Western Australia, Australia and Global Local Governments and the skills I first developed at ECU more than 15 years ago still stand me in good stead today.
Looking out at you all this evening has made me quite nostalgic, and yet excited for I know what great things await your graduating year. Having successfully negotiated university life and completing your degree – I expect to hear great things about your cohort in the near future as you strive to be better than the rest and make a real difference in whatever path your journey takes you.
Good luck and God bless.