The curtain has finally closed on a two-month long graduation season that saw more than 2100 new graduates cross the stage in an astounding 14 ceremonies from our Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura, Bendigo, Bundoora and international campuses.
Among the highlights were the 60 new grads from Shepparton, who faced an unprecedented and challenging last year when the township was impacted by floods.
“Our students in Shepparton have shown great resilience – first navigating a global pandemic and then coping with devastating floods – and should feel very proud to have reached this significant milestone,” said Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.
We also saw a number of students whose years of dedication has led them to secure employment immediately upon graduation, like Julie-Anne Bamblett.
Julie-Anne Bamblett, a nursing graduate, recently commenced her role as part of the graduate program at NCN Health, primarily stationed in Numurkah. She's found great satisfaction in the valuable firsthand experience she gains by encountering a diverse range of health issues at a rural hospital.
“Once I was working with my community, I realised that I really needed to go to uni and get my RN. I needed the skills to do more to help with chronic health issues, and I also wanted to be a role model for other young single mums,” Julie-Anne said.
Julie-Anne aspires to contribute to Indigenous health by becoming a registered nurse specialising in chronic disease management within her community.
On Thursday, April 20th, another ceremony took place at The Cube in Wodonga, marking a significant milestone for our Albury-Wodonga campus. The event saw the graduation of 136 accomplished students, each proudly receiving their well-deserved degrees.
Leah Wiley, a social work graduate from Albury-Wodonga, undertook a social work placement as part of her degree. This resulted in her finding employment as a wellbeing officer at a public high school. Since completing her studies, she has taken on the role full time for a year.
“I have really enjoyed working within a school and supporting local youth to reach their full potential,” Leah said of her experience in the role.
Dr. Guinever Threlkeld, Head of Campus at Albury-Wodonga, emphasised the exciting role that graduates like Leah will play in bolstering the local workforce and improving the livelihoods of their community.
“We’ve seen many of our previous graduates going on to pursue careers locally, contributing to the workforce in schools, health services, scientific organisations, business, not for profits and the arts."
Across the ocean, we also celebrated graduations at our partner universities in Vietnam and Singapore.
Speakers at the graduation in Hanoi, Vietnam acknowledged the importance of the partnership and the impact that it had, not only for the University but also for fostering a stronger global network of knowledge, diversity, and cultural exchange.
“The La Trobe University relationship with Hanoi University is one that is special to us – our first agreement was signed in 2002 and since then we have celebrated more than 1600 graduates from our courses,” said Professor Amalia Di Iorio AM, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Partnerships).
The event saw a total of 114 Diploma of Business and Bachelor of Business graduands celebrated for their commitment to completing their studies.
In Singapore, we also saw 43 students graduate with a Bachelor of Business (Event Management) or Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality).
“The partnership that La Trobe University enjoys with the Singapore Institute of Management exemplifies everything that is wonderful about this exchange of ideas across nations,” said Professor Di Iorio.
Following these graduations, Bundoora held six ceremonies on campus with more than 1300 students in attendance crossing the stage, and one Emeritus Professor awarded.
Emeritus Professor Jeff Young is Professor of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and The Director of The Bouverie Centre, the world’s largest family therapy agency (2009 – 2022). He has been awarded nationally for both his work in family therapy and mental health.
Notably, his visionary leadership also paved the way for the establishment of La Trobe's Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy: First Nations course, a groundbreaking program that recently celebrated the achievement of 10 new graduates during the ceremonies.
Stephen Kent, Dean of Psychology and Public Health, expressed immense pride in his colleague who he's had the pleasure of working with for eight years.
"Jeff has led the Bouverie Centre through a challenging period of turbulence and uncertainty but also unwavering growth and success. His unbridled enthusiasm is legendary as is his commitment to the discipline of Family Therapy, but all of this is tied to his desire to make the world a better place."
The course currently has over 180 graduates, a success rate of 87 per cent— far higher than mainstream courses and more than double the average of Indigenous post-graduate completion rates.
Our Bendigo campus also recently celebrated 852 students receiving their degrees, including 12 PhDs, across two ceremonies at the Ulumbarra Theatre on May 22 and 23.
These ceremonies served as a testament to the profound influence that local education has on students, as they not only acquire knowledge but also contribute to the growth and prosperity of regional Victoria through their subsequent careers.
Matt Long, who graduated his degree in physiotherapy from La Trobe Rural Health School, credits the support of mum and social work lecturer Natasha Long in helping to realise his study goals.
“It was great having her there to bounce ideas off. She also built my confidence to engage a bit more proactively with staff.”
Matt also values gaining the skills to build a supportive team at work and the opportunities he's had to improve health outcomes for rural people, including many ageing farmers.
“La Trobe really helped build the communications skills I now use to both build relationships with patients and draw out the information I need to make a diagnosis.”
Needless to say, Natasha is proud of Matt’s achievements.
“During his secondary education Matt always talked about wanting to be a physiotherapist. It is great to see students like Matt able to follow their passion, study locally and now work in regional Victoria”.