Saturday, 31 January 2015
Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, fellow graduates, it is a great honour to represent the School of Education’s Class of 2014 as graduate speaker.
Today is a day to reflect on the success of completing a four year course, persevering through one of the most challenging experiences of our lives and acknowledging our role in supporting the future leaders of tomorrow.
We are very thankful and I’m sure by now, all graduates here today can attest that ECU has been the right choice for us. It’s a university, which truly leads and innovates within the field of teacher education and has had a major role in preparing us for the road ahead.
We’ve all made lifelong friends, we’ve fallen asleep in lectures, we’ve eaten $10 sandwiches at Aroma and we’ve sometimes thought we knew more than our tutors, but above all, we’ve learnt to become not just great teachers but the very best that the teaching profession has to offer. I once said to our Head of School, Professor Christopher Brook, that teaching is one of those courses where not only is ‘teaching a product of the university, but we too are products of the University’. Everything we do from this moment on, not only is a reflection of us but it is a reflection of the university which has trained us.
We all have a part to play in making a difference and as they say, we all know that if you want to see change, YOU need to be the change you see in this world. I myself, have relished my life at ECU, and have made it my life for the last three and a half years to support my peers and make a difference to improve the lives and employability of trainee teachers at ECU. The results speak for themselves and as I stand here today, as a teacher looking back on a legacy left behind, I am proud to know that I’ve contributed to something much greater than myself.
As teachers, we have a duty to ensure that generations of children are empowered through our teaching, inspired to make a difference and develop a love for the value of education.
But teaching could never be simply defined as a job. It’s a lifelong passion and career, that’s so valuable to society that the definition of a teacher could never be truly defined. And if by chance (and I hope you haven’t had the need) that you have read the Oxford Dictionary definition, apparently ….all we do is teach.
They couldn’t be more wrong! We are more than just people who impart knowledge on children, we are peace keepers, we are doctors, we are scientists, we are counsellors and we are the people who are proud of achievement and those who strive to always better themselves and the lives of others we connect with. I challenge anyone to think of a role that’s more important to society, for teaching really is the best profession in the world!
If you remember anything today, it is that ECU is a university that is only 24 years old yet has been teaching us teachers to teach for over a hundred years. With all the awards you could think of and five star ratings for the things that count, ECU is truly… what a university should be!
Now, I wish all my fellow graduates every success in the years ahead and I know that you will do you part in making this world a better place for us and our children’s children.
Congratulations on hitting this special milestone and welcome to the teaching profession! Thank you.
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