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Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science - Graduate Speaker: Sharna Bicheno

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sharna Bicheno

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Graduates, I am truly honoured that on behalf of all of the graduates here I have been given the opportunity to address all of you here today. I am sure, that for all of my fellow graduates there has been times of stress, occasions that have put us way out of our comfort zones, perhaps the occasional moments of panic and some extremely challenging experiences. Well we all have survived each of these moments and are now being rewarded by the recognition of our achievements and with amazing opportunities that are before us. 

Our time spent within the walls of ECU will always be a special memory for each of us. Some of you are graduating for the first time and others such as myself have completed both undergraduate and postgraduate studies and some of you will return to ECU to continue on with further studies. To each of us ECU will represent a very solid foundation on which to build our futures. Not only have we made good friends during our time at ECU, we have also made some professional relationships and thus must thank our teachers for what they have given us.

Thank you to all our tutors, lecturers and academic staff for facilitating our study, enabling us to learn and grow and for giving us the professional tools allowing us to be the best in our chosen profession. I can certainly speak on behalf of our midwifery group when I say we have had amazing teachers. These women who have guided us have ignited our passion for midwifery and have taught us to practice every day following the philosophies that we truly believe in. We will be forever grateful for the generosity of your knowledge and your constant and never ending support.

I must also thank our loved ones both family and friends. You are the people who have been by our side during this roller coaster ride of our university life. We thank you for your patience and understanding through this arduous experience, for coping with our fluctuating moods during exams, presentations and god forbid making those dreaded dioramas!

Thank you to those who have lived under the same roof as us. For putting up with books and portfolio’s sprawled across the kitchen table and lounge room floor. Thank you to those who have listened to our endless conversations (in my case) about cervix’, and perineum’s!  My family knows way more about the female anatomy than they ever thought they would! Thank you to all the families and friends who have been excited because we come home thrilled that we had a birth and placenta was the coolest placenta we’d ever seen!

Whilst we so greatly appreciate the help, support and guidance from all those around us throughout our studies, it is us, today the graduates who are inevitably responsible for where we are today. We were the ones who sat tirelessly studying, reading pages upon pages of journal articles, submitting thousands of words in multiple assignments. We were the ones standing nervously in front of our class delivering presentations and the ones who undertook the nerve racking exams to get to where we are today. All of this enables us to be sitting here as graduates of our chosen profession, allowed us to achieve the dream that we have worked so long for. So Congratulations! Well done to each and every graduate for the sleepless nights, excessive study eating and social sacrifices you have made over the length of your course.

Today may also be a little scary as now we must venture out as independent professionals.  We must take those dreams and make our own places in this world, just remember that if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. So graduates, challenge yourself, continue to get out of your comfort zone for it is then that you will achieve unimaginable things.

Graduates it is time to stand tall and recognise your achievements and the people you have become. How about a massive round of applause for yourselves. Thank you.

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