Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Over the weekend I was fortunate to have been involved in five very special events as we celebrated the graduation of 1,900 ECU students.
Family, friends and the ECU community gathered at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre to recognise the achievements of our latest graduating cohort and to be inspired by both the Occasional and Graduate Speakers.
Addressing the audience as Occasional Speakers were Professor of Exercise and Sports Science Rob Newton; Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for Western Australia, Adjunct Associate Professor Catherine Stoddart; Director General for the Department of the Attorney General, Ms Cheryl Gwilliam; Mr Geoff Metcalf, a leader within the Department of Education and long-time principal of Roseworth Primary School; and Head of ECU’s Kurongkurl Katitjin, Professor Colleen Hayward, all of whom drew on their life experiences and proffered wise advice to graduates to encourage them to continue learning throughout their lifetime.
The graduates also heard inspiring speeches from their peers, with former AFL star Ashley Hansen; Bachelor of Social Science graduate Stephany Oromo, young entrepreneur Rebecca Olsen, education graduate Andrew Mayhills and Bachelor of Communications and Arts graduate Therese Olssen Semne reflecting very positively on their time at ECU.
I thank ECU Chancellor, the Hon Dr Hendy Cowan, for presiding at four of the five ceremonies and our Pro-Chancellor Ms Denise McComish for leading us through her first ECU graduation.
I also acknowledge fellow staff who called the names of each graduate.
At the ‘Toast to Graduates’ in the Bellevue Ballroom after each ceremony I received positive feedback from graduates and their guests. This is a testament to the conscientious and untiring work of ECU staff in organising each graduation to ensure it is a success. I salute our prodigious Manager of Corporate Events, Nicola Roszak and her colleagues in the team, including Meredith Belcher, Kylie Hendon, Nicola Valentine, Janet O’Reilly and their colleagues.
The final graduation in this New Year series is the Faculty of Regional and Professional Studies ceremony, to be held on Saturday, 25 February 2012.
As has become tradition for our South West graduates, they will begin the occasion with a parade along the main street of Bunbury watched by friends, family and the wider community before entering the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre to commence the ceremony.
Graduation ceremonies are a marvellous opportunity to salute the success of our graduates and to acknowledge all of those who contributed to their success.
Professor Kerry O. Cox *
* Professor Kerry Cox was Vice-Chancellor of Edith Cowan University from March 2006 to September 2014.