Work is in full swing to prepare the beautiful lawns of Booloominbah for the University of New England’s inaugural Summer Graduation with more than 550 graduates confirmed to attend the three ceremonies this weekend.
It’s been an exceptional year of academic achievement for UNE students. In particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with a record number of 93 students graduating in 2018, up from 43 graduates in 2017.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan ascribed the growth in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates to targeted support programs, such as the Tutorial Assistance Program, delivered by the Oorala Aboriginal Centre.
“We have improved our communication tools and support to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students throughout their studies at UNE and we are starting to see the results of this pro-active approach,” Prof. Duncan said.
UNE graduated almost 5,000 students in 2018.
“I congratulate our students on their hard work in completing their studies and wish them success in their future roles, regardless of what that may be. I’m so very proud of them."
"I also welcome them into our alumni community and hope that they will remain connected with UNE.”
Prof. Duncan also thanked UNE staff for their commitment to delivering the best possible teaching outcomes to their students.
“We have supported many people in their studies; people who came to us unsure of what their strengths are and what they wanted to do. Some doubted if a university education was for them. We have supported them during their studies and this weekend we will see their hard work come to fruition,” Prof. Duncan said.
Graduates in Medicine, Health and Psychology will receive their awards on Thursday, 13 December. Leading expert in suicide bereavement from UNE’s School of Health, Professor Myfanwy Maple, will deliver the Occasional Address on the day.
The Science, Agriculture, Business and Law awards will be presented on Friday, 14 December with UNE alumna, Dr Kerry Schott AO, presenting the Occasional Address. Dr Schott, who has held a number of leadership roles in business and government, will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters honoris causa (HonDLitt) at the ceremony.
Students in the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education will receive their awards on Saturday, 15 December. New England Girl’s School (NEGS) Principal, Mrs. Mary Anne Evans, will present the Occasional Address.
The three ceremonies will be held at 4.30pm to avoid the full impact of the summer sun. The wet weather contingency is Lazenby Hall.