Bendigo students celebrated at graduation

Years of study and determination have paid off for 852 students at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus as they celebrate their graduation, including 12 PhDs.

Graduating students have already joined the local workforce as they celebrate graduating in a wide range of disciplines, including nursing, dentistry, education, speech pathology, social work, paramedic practice and public health, business, law, computing and engineering.

La Trobe University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, said this cohort of graduating students highlights how higher education can be transformative for regional communities.

“As Bendigo celebrates 150 years of tertiary education in 2023, La Trobe’s Bendigo campus continues to play a pivotal role in the city, and graduating students will continue to make a positive impact in their local communities,” Professor Dewar said.

“I congratulate students graduating from our Bendigo campus today and look forward to following their future success.”

Dr Julie Rudner, Bendigo Campus Director, said the students graduating today will play an exciting role in strengthening the workforce and livelihoods of their local community.

“The pride we have in our Bendigo students cannot be understated. The skills and knowledge they will bring to the communities in which they pursue their careers will be invaluable,” Dr Rudner said.

“As the University looks to the future, it remains committed to supporting regional communities and helping to address the skills shortages that are so often felt in Bendigo.”

Student case studies

Many graduating students are already working in their fields, particularly students from La Trobe’s Allied Health and Rural Health School disciplines.

Twins Mariz and John Sidhom are among Victoria’s newest regional dentists, hailing from a family of pharmacists.

The Bendigo locals have already secured employment, leaving the Goldfields behind to serve communities in and around Geelong and Melton.

Mariz is starting out in a public role, which she gained through a work placement.

“I work with a lot of vulnerable people and public dentistry is a really rewarding way to make a difference to their oral health,” Mariz Sihom said.

“It’s definitely a learning curve when you start your career, but after spending so much time in different settings, I’m confident, and as ready as I can be.”

Mariz said studying alongside her brother has been amazing.

“We wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re a bit competitive, but in a good way, we kept each-other motivated.”

Also graduating from the La Trobe Rural Health School is Matt Long, completing his degree in physiotherapy.

He credits the support of his mother, Natasha Long, who is a social worker, in helping him 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 Long said.

Matt’s Mum, Dr Long inspired his choice to practice regionally and make a difference in rural health, which is something he’s now able to do as a physio in Horsham.

His placement at a private physio practice quickly turned into a job offer and Matt hasn’t looked back.

“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.”

More information about Bendigo graduation ceremonies

Media: Courtney Carthy –, +61 487 448 734