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Faculty of Business and Law - Graduate Speaker: Taniya Bannerjee

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Taniya Banerjee

Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Graduates:

I am honoured to be delivering this speech on behalf of my fellow graduates today.

When I made the decision to come to and study in Perth I didn’t realise that one day I would be standing here and speaking to all of you now about my experience at ECU. Two years ago, I took a huge step in my life by packing everything up from India and I moved to Australia. I did this because I wanted to take a chance, to take on every opportunity available to me and it’s been the best decision that I’ve ever made.

I would like to thank ECU’s amazing staff who guided me and told me about so many different opportunities. Those opportunities gave me purpose and really helped me feel like I was part of a community…ECU’s community. My favourite experience was volunteering with a group called Enactus, an international non-profit organization that brings student, academic and business leaders together. I didn’t know anyone when I first came to Western Australia and I thought it would be a good way to meet people and give back to the community at the same time. Little did I know that Enactus was the key which would open a lot of doors for me later on in my life. It gave me the opportunity to lead a group of students, to become a project manager, to represent ECU in Sydney and Brisbane and share my experiences with other students. It also gave me the confidence to stand up here and share my story with all of you today.

Of course, the journey to this point hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes it’s been a bit lonely and scary, yet I look back and feel this great sense of accomplishment, and I’m sure my fellow graduates have felt the same. I would like to thank our families and friends who have stood by us through this difficult journey and I extend my sincerest appreciation to all of you. Thank you for being patient with us, for not giving up on us even when we felt like giving up on ourselves and most importantly, thank you for simply being there for us.

To my fellow graduates, I would like to say congratulations on achieving this massive milestone in your life. I know it has not been an easy journey but you’ve finally done it! It is time now to look beyond what you’ve studied, to try new things and to explore the opportunities around you. Do not be afraid to take a leap, take chances and make a difference by getting involved in your community. As the author, Mandy Hale said “To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look”

You are ECU graduates now and that’s something to be proud of! So go out there, live your dream, take a few risks and inspire people.

Thank you.

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