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Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science - Graduate Speaker

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Mr Kenneth Eaton


Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen and fellow graduates.

My congratulations to all our fantastic graduates here today.

I come from an era when Western Australia had one university and it was not the norm for an average secondary student to gain entry to that university education.

It is therefore such pride and privilege for me to be part of this wonderful ECU family that has now enabled me to complete my 40 year dream of obtaining a university degree.

To be given the honour of presenting this graduation speech for 2013 is certainly the flag in my Everest. I dedicate these words on behalf of my fellow colleagues and I entrust each of them to successfully scale and conquer all their much higher summits in their futures.

The Graduates here today represent the Schools within the Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science. We believe we have chosen well, because our studies will lead to dynamic and changing professions, requiring us to utilise and develop on our knowledge gained over the past years. They are professions in which achievements can be measured and used to make a practical difference to and deliver strong benefits for our communities.

As graduates we come from many different backgrounds and nationalities, we are the young and not so young, our wealth, academic status, interests, goals, aspirations and points of view vary greatly.  We are certainly a diverse lot, but, we do have two things in common:

Firstly, ECU’s developing progressive inclusiveness program allowing many of us now to participate in university studies.

And secondly, your support;

 I thank you for that on behalf of this graduating cohort. Your support and encouragement to maintain focus on our final goal is immeasurable.

We must also acknowledge all the support that has also come in many forms from our communities and governments.

Today we are awarding and celebrating the individual achievements of us as students. But achievement is also reactive. By us achieving our goals of graduation, it has also meant that our lecturers, supervisors, researchers, and support staff have also achieved their goals by presenting us with the challenges for us to succeed.

And by their achievements our Faculty has also achieved and that of course plays it part in the much wider achievements of our University Council and senior management in advancing their strategic direction and mission objectives for Edith Cowan University.

In this process we have now all become part of Australia’s documented goal to achieve improved educational attainment and the widening participation in higher education. Let us hope the economic rationalists always consider that fact.

The graduates here today are mature, confident and dedicated and it has been a joy for me to have shared this part of their life’s journey. They will hopefully go on now to have fulfilling and wonderful careers.

I do envy them somewhat as I can only imagine the technology advances and endeavours they will be involved with over the coming 30 to 40 years. Although as someone whose engineering career started with a pencil and slide rule, behind drawing board, I have also been a witness to fantastic changes over the past decades.

In conclusion, I look forward to the achievements that these bright young graduates are going to make in our future. Of these 2013 Graduation students, some will be great achievers; I will proudly say, “I was at ECU with them”.  Most of us will be the quiet achieves. However, none of us will have an excuse not to achieve to the best of our ability. Our Edith Cowan University has committed us to that.

Once again, on behalf of the graduating class of 2013, I sincerely thank each and every one of you who have contributed in any way to make our dreams a reality today.

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