Sunday, 19 January 2014
Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow graduates. It is a great honour to stand here and speak to you on behalf of my fellow graduates.
I am sure all of the students graduating here today will agree with me when I say the road to this point has not always been an easy one. Before we started university we weren’t sure
whether we were capable of pursuing a university education whilst dealing with the demands of everyday life. During our degrees we battled assignment deadlines, practical exams and clinical placements. Yet here we are today celebrating our graduation… we did it! For many of us we had work commitments, families to raise, mortgages, rent and bills to pay, as well as tending to ill family members. The courage and ambition demonstrated to reach this point, and ready to become health practitioners is an amazing feat deserving of much praise and recognition. Special mention must go to the students graduating today with honours, masters and PHDs who have worked incredibly hard to further their education.
Edith Cowan University is an exceptional university and provided us with the ideal learning environment to enable us to achieve our best results. The up-to-date facilities meant we were learning and practising our skills using best evidence based practice in preparation for our clinical placements in health care facilities. The range of clinical placements offered throughout our degree also facilitated linking theory to practice, allowing us to gain hands-on experience in our area of study. There were also unique opportunities offered to students to travel overseas, work alongside health professionals and experience health care delivery in another country. Edith Cowan University has provided us with an education that we feel prepared to begin our careers in health and one that we can be proud of.
Family and friends here tonight, along with all of our other loved ones that cannot be here… we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have travelled this journey with us and we thank you for your ongoing love, understanding and encouragement during these past few years. It has taken a lot of dedication, hard work and sacrifice from you to enable the graduates to achieve their dreams and goals, and we would not be here without your support.
We must also thank the many staff who have guided us to this day. Their passion for education and teaching was evident every day as they nurtured and encouraged us to be the best we could be. We have learnt from them: we walk away with their stories, their practices and their ideas, safely stored away until we need them again. We thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us and inspiring us to reach our full potential.
I would like to now encourage all of the graduates to stand and applaud the families, friends and staff to show our appreciation and gratitude to you all for helping us along our journey.
To our classmates, friends and now colleagues - our graduation ceremony marks a momentous occasion in our lives, and tonight we celebrate this major achievement and milestone. As we do, it is also important to acknowledge a new beginning and the next chapter we are about to embark on. With these pieces of paper we take on great responsibility. From here people will seek our opinions, refer to our knowledge for answers, look to our actions for guidance and most of all trust our expertise with their lives.
Whether this degree has fulfilled all of your hopes, dreams and desires, or has ignited a spark down a different pathway, this education has given us a platform to build upon. Whatever we chose we should always aim to find our passion in life, pursue our dreams and live life purposefully. Congratulations again to all of the graduating students. I wish you all the best in your careers and future endeavours.
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