Delivering the Occasional Address at the ceremony, Senator Nash reminded her audience that for Sir Earle Page, the 11th Prime Minister of Australia and the first Chancellor of UNE, access to education had been “central to the prosperity of the regions”.
“Regional universities like UNE are realising Earle Page’s vision,” said Senator Nash, who is the Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Australian Senate and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education.
“Through this regional university,” she told the graduands, “you have gained new skills and knowledge equal, I’m sure, to those offered in the cities. However, you have also learnt a set of values and attitudes that are unique to regional education. I hope those values and attitudes will shape your perception of regional Australia for many years to come.”
About 260 people graduating from within UNE’s School of Law and School of Business, Economics and Public Policy received their testamurs from the hands of the Chancellor, Richard Torbay, during Saturday’s ceremony.
“It is professionals like you who have the ability to address the inequality between the city and the country because you have lived in the regions and have gained an understanding of what matters to regional people,” Senator Nash said.
Saturday’s was the second of this year’s four Autumn Graduation ceremonies. The remaining ceremonies will be on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 March.
THE PHOTOGRAPH above of the Chancellor, Richard Torbay, and Senator Fiona Nash expands to include the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber.