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Faculty of Education and Arts - Graduate Speaker: Elle Edwards

Sunday, 13 September

Elle Edwards

Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies, Gentlemen and Fellow Graduates, thanks for having me up here, its a real honour to have the opportunity to speak with you today. 

I don’t know about you, but I have come a long way from when I started. From walking into the wrong lecture theatre on my first day with a notepad and no pen; somehow I have made it up here so I would like to share with you the tool box of skills that I am taking away after a fabulous learning journey throughout uni.

1. Using uni units to acquire life skills

First up, I’m sure we have all used uni assignments as tools to acquire other life skills, such as time management, problem solving, teamwork and fitting the maximum amount of caffeine into a single beverage.

This is really great because these skills, we can all use as we take on the big wide world beyond ECU, whatever the plan may be. This leads me to the second tool in my toolbox, which is setting your plans in rubber. 

2. Set you plans in rubber

During my time studying at ECU, we got to work with great people from industry, like The Brand Agency’s Paul Yole who gave us this little gem. 

To set your plans in rubber is to set a goal and pursue it, but allow for movement and expansion. 

This ensures that you are always moving forward and making progress, but being okay with the fact that the end goal may change. Doesn’t matter. 

This has certainly been the case with me, believe it or not, my original dream was to be in the circus. Set that in rubber haven’t I? Throughout my pursuit, chasing a great career in advertising, I have also made time to do and teach handstands and other ninja skills as I believe it is crucial to remember the importance of play, take a break and enjoy the journey! 

3. Play mentality for Creativity - giving yourself time out & don’t be afraid to have fun while you are learning 

Whilst studying at ECU I discovered that not only is play really important for when I needed to take a break from study; but it also encourages a mindset combining opportunity, challenge and positive thinking - which makes this mindset tool number three and a real force to be reckoned with!

The range of units at ECU allowed me to find areas which I could apply this mindset and collaborate with others in this zone, where we thoroughly enjoyed producing some of our best work.

Random Life Hack - Power Stance 

The final tool that I will share with you, I picked up on the ECU Advertising Study Tour on which Diane Slade was brave enough to take 10 of us to Washington, New York and Dubai for student conferences, exclusive agency visits and many other incredible life experiences. 

So this one’s called ‘The Power Stance’.

Whether I am preparing for a job interview, a big speech or a hot date, this little trick is always a good one to keep in mind. 

The trick is to hold the power stance position for 2 minutes. Standing like this increases hormones associated with confidence and lowers the ones that stress you out, ensuring you are your coolest and most confident for whatever you are facing.

Give it a go next time you need a little boost. 


So on behalf of all the students graduating today, many many thanks to ECU for all the tools you have given us to take on the world beyond uni. 

All the best for your amazing futures. I can’t wait to see what we all do with our weird and wonderful lives.

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