GradsFest

We are delighted to announce the state government has confirmed that the University’s COVIDSafe graduation celebration, GradsFest 2020, is going ahead in December 2020.

You and your family or supporters can now enjoy a physically distanced, two-stage celebration.

GradsFest 2020

1. Online celebration

When: 22 December
Time: 5pm
Where: Online broadcasts
Who: Melbourne graduates only

Melbourne graduates will be able to tune into their school’s graduation broadcast and hear from our Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Alumni, all of whom will celebrate your time at La Trobe.

Specific details and a link to the relevant broadcast will be emailed to eligible students in the coming weeks.

2. Physically-distanced gowning experience

When: December - please register to view availability and book. Registration is via your email invitation.
Where: Melbourne campus
Who: Melbourne graduates only

You and your family or supporters (up to four guests) can now register to come on campus at the end of the year to recognise and celebrate your graduation.

We want you to dress in your best celebratory attire, gather your family, supporters and loved ones and attend the Melbourne campus in December 2020 to:

  • Finally, wear your hard-earned graduation gown and cap!
  • Be presented your Testamur (degree certificate) at a small ceremony – just for you and your invited guests.
  • Have official photos taken by our professional photographers.
  • Explore the planned activities and exhibits.
  • Arrange to meet your study buddies.
  • Stay for a picnic in one of the beautiful gardens and grounds around the campus.
  • Enjoy the food and drink from our very own campus retailers in the Agora.
  • Access some of the best photo spots on campus for your family photos.
  • Purchase La Trobe merchandise and memorabilia.
  • Celebrate YOU and your achievements with family and friends.

Stay informed

To find out more, please ensure your email address and mobile number is kept up to date so that we can contact you to register for GradsFest.You can update your contact details in StudentOnline or via ASK a Question.

FAQs

EVENT INVITATIONS AND REGISTRATION

Who will be invited to GradsFest?

Metropolitan Melbourne-based students who have completed, or are due to complete their course before 30 November 2020.

If you are due to complete your studies by end-of-year, you will be invited to GradsFest if the last teaching period you are enrolled in has an end-date before 30 November 2020.

You can learn more about teaching period end-dates here.

Regional students will receive more information about graduations in 2021.

I haven’t received an invitation yet but my friends have, why?

Invitations will be sent each week throughout the month of November. If you haven’t received your invitation it may be because your course status hasn’t been updated yet. Keep checking your emails each week. If you are unsure or want to clarify your eligibility, please contact ASK La Trobe.

Please also see below: What courses are excluded from December graduation/result release

Is there a specific day I must attend?

To ensure all students have an opportunity to be involved, availability is restricted based on the completion of your studies. There will be a variety of dates and times throughout December offered for bookings on a first-come-first-served basis.

If I attend GradsFest, can I still attend an actual graduation next year?

No, GradsFest is the COVIDSafe alternative to traditional ceremonies in 2020. We have explored the possibility of deferring ceremonies until 2021, but unfortunately, with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, it is not possible. The complexity and logistics associated with the large cohort of Melbourne graduates (approximately 9,000 graduating students in 2020, plus guests) and a lack of suitable venue means we cannot practically defer all students to a ceremony in 2021 or beyond.

If you chose not to attend GradsFest, you will graduate in absentia. All graduates, including those who graduate in absentia, can join the online celebration on 22 December at 5pm.

I want to attend GradsFest at the same time as my friends, can I?

We encourage you to discuss dates and times with your friends and family before registering.

Booking at similar times as your friends will depend on the dates and times available at the time of registration. As you have two hours on campus following your booking time to enjoy GradsFest, your friends will only need to book within your allotted two-hour timeframe to catch up.

Do I have attend GradsFest on the same day as other people from my course?

No.  You can book a time that works for you and your family and supporters.

What is the registration fee?

$130 per graduate, there are no additional costs for your family and friends.

What’s included in the registration fee?

  • Your degree certificate presentation ceremony
  • Access to on campus GradsFest activities
  • Up to four guest tickets
  • Your admission to the graduation event
  • Hire of academic regalia (gown, cap and colours)

Is there a limit to how many tickets I can purchase?

Up to four guest tickets are included in your registration fee. Additional guest tickets are not available due to health regulations and restrictions to the number of people allowed on campus.

The day I wanted to attend is not available, what do I do?

In order to remain COVID-safe, we are required to limit the number of guests on campus at any one time. If the day and time you want is booked out, please select a new time. If you are unable to attend any of the available times, please contact ASK La Trobe to discuss your options.

I’ve booked a ticket but want to change dates, how can I do this?

You are free to change your mind up until the registration deadline outlined in your GradsFest invitation. To change your booking time, please contact Reed Graduations.  You can change your booking time before the deadline, based on availability of sessions.
Requests for changes to your booking after the deadline will only be considered in extenuating circumstances. In this instance, please contact ASK La Trobe.

What if I miss the deadline to register and pay?

We are unable to accept registrations after the deadline. If you do not register and pay before the deadline indicated in your invitation, you will not have the opportunity to attend GradsFest, or a ceremony in the future.

Can I buy my own gown?

A limited number of gowns are available for purchase via the registration process. Please note that all undergraduate and master’s degree students can keep their trencher (cap).  PhD bonnets must be returned along with all gowns.

I am a regional student. Can I attend?

GradsFest at the Melbourne Campus in December 2020 is for Melbourne students only.  Attendance numbers are strictly monitored to ensure the health and safety of all attendees and staff. We are currently planning for 2020 regional graduates to be invited to a regional graduation celebration in the first half of 2021.

I live overseas and cannot attend, what can I do instead?

If you or your family are currently overseas and had planned to travel to Australia to celebrate your graduation, due to travel restrictions this is not currently possible. We appreciate this is disappointing however we hope you will join the online ceremony on 22 December at 5pm to celebrate all 2020 graduates.

Why are there different approaches between Melbourne and regional campuses?

The University understands the importance of graduation ceremonies for students and their families however it is also our responsibility to follow Government requirements and do all we can to protect the health and wellbeing of all members of our community.

Large scale events are not permitted under current COVID-19 restrictions and we anticipate that some degree of physical distancing and associated health guidelines, particularly around public gatherings and events, will remain in place for some time.

The significantly smaller sizes of the graduating cohorts from regional campuses mean there is a possibility that an in-person graduation event (albeit modified to comply with public health requirements) may be delivered in 2021. For this reason, 2020 regional graduation ceremonies have been postponed and will be reassessed next year.

However, the increased complexity and logistics associated with the significantly larger cohort of Melbourne graduates (approximately 9,000 graduating students, plus guests) cannot be practically scaled to deliver a graduation ceremony safely within public health guidelines while still providing a positive event experience for all attendees.

We understand it’s disappointing that graduation plans this year are different to the traditional graduation ceremony. This is not a decision that has been made lightly. In planning what alternative celebration options are possible, we have sought input from current domestic and international students as to what elements of graduation are most important to them, balanced against what is possible within current and anticipated COVID-19 restrictions. These insights have informed the planned GradsFest available to Melbourne graduates in December 2020, which will give 2020 graduates and their guests the opportunity to attend campus and have professional photographs taken in their academic regalia with their testamur. This is in addition to the online graduation celebration on 22 December.

We remain committed to providing the best possible student experience while also observing the health advice and restrictions that are in place.

I would like to see what dates and times are available before paying, how can I do this?

There are a range of dates and times available throughout the month of December from 8am – 3pm daily. You will be able to view these available dates and times once you have registered and paid

If you are only available for very limited times throughout December, please contact Reed directly to view available dates and times prior to paying. Phone 1300 361 806

How do I know I have completed the registration process correctly?

Registration for GradsFest is a 2-step process. Registration must be completed in the below order:

  1. Register and pay
  2. Proceed to booking portal to select preferred date and time

Please do not use a link someone else has provided for the booking portal as this is unique for each student.

You will receive a confirmation email with your registration and guest tickets via email (one document [PDF]).

I can only allocate 1 guest ticket, but I know we can have up to 4. Why?

In this instance you have gone straight to step-2.

Please go back to complete step-1 first (registration and payment) and select 4 tickets at this stage. Then you can move on to step-2, booking portal.

RESULTS

Do I need to wait until I get my results before I register to attend GradsFest?

If you have been invited to GradsFest but have not yet passed your course, do not wait until you receive your results before registering. If you do you not pass your course but have registered and paid, you will automatically receive a refund.

I did not meet all of my course requirements; how do I request a refund?

If you do not pass your course but have already registered and paid to attend GradsFest, you will automatically receive a refund within 14 working days of receiving your results. You do not need to contact us to request this. Once you have completed all your course requirements, we will send you an invitation for our next available round of celebrations.

What courses are excluded from December graduation/result release

A list of excluded courses can be found here. If you are currently enrolled in one of the listed courses, you will be invited to attend a future graduation celebration.

What happens if I fail a subject and don't pass my course? Will I receive a refund?

If you do not pass your course but have already registered and paid to attend GradsFest, you will automatically receive a refund within 14 working days of receiving your results. You do not need to contact us to request this. Once you have completed all your course requirements, we will send you an invitation for our next available round of celebrations.

GRADUATING IN ABSENTIA (WITHOUT ATTENDING GRADSFEST)

Can I graduate in absentia (without attending the event)?

If you do not wish to attend GradsFest, you can choose to graduate in absentia at no charge. If you graduate in absentia, you will not have the opportunity to attend a later ceremony for your award. All graduates, including those who graduate in absentia, can join the online celebration on 22 December at 5pm.

If I don’t attend, how will I receive my testamur (degree certificate)?

You can choose to have your testamur mailed to your home address free of charge, or you can collect it from campus. Testamurs will be mailed up to six weeks after GradsFest.

I chose to have my testamur (degree certificate) mailed to me, when should I expect to receive that?

Hard copy Testamurs will be posted approximately six weeks after the conclusion of GradsFest. Digital copies of your graduation documents will be available via My eQuals.

GUEST ATTENDANCE

Why do I need to register myself and my guests prior to attending GradsFest?

You will need to tell us the number of guests you would like to bring when you register on the portal. This is so we can provide accurate and timely information to the Department of Health and Human Services in the instance of a declared case being notified and so we can adjust our cleaning schedules as required.

Is it cheaper if I only bring one guest?

No, as your four (maximum) guests are complimentary. Registering guests is for contact tracing and site management purposes only.

Do my young children count as guests?

Children under the age of five do not count as a guest but must always remain with parents/carers.

EVENT GUIDELINES AND SAFETY

What happens if the government changes the health status/steps relating to the COVID roadmap and the event is cancelled?

La Trobe will fully refund any payments due to cancellation as a result of changes in health status relating to managing the spread of COVID-19.

What steps will you be taking to reduce the chance of infection?

To ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, we will be implementing a number of safety measures including additional cleaning, and site capacity.

What if someone tests positive after attending the event?

We will follow the expected Department of Health and Human Services protocols around contact tracing, quarantine and cleaning.  If we are required to suspend GradsFest in order to do so, we will contact those who have booked to re-arrange their booking or process a refund.

Do we have to wear masks?

Current Victorian health regulations require residents to carry a mask with them at all times. We encourage all GradsFest attendees to wear a mask when not able to physically distance.

What do I bring on the day?

Please bring your student ID card or photo ID and a copy of your registration and guest tickets, ready to scan at the registration desk upon arrival (print or digital copies are permissible).

What if I’m sick on the day? What if my guests are sick on the day?

If you or your guests are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you do not come onto campus and instead get tested.  Please contact ASK La Trobe as soon as practically possible. Please provide supporting documentation so we can work reschedule, if possible, or organise a refund.

ON THE DAY

What should I wear?

While this is not a formal event, we usually suggest that you dress in business attire, as if you were attending a job interview.

Where do I park?

CP1 - Car Park 1 and the adjoining Visitors Car Park are the closest parking bays. Please note that parking is free of charge. Click to view a mobility map of the Melbourne campus.

Where do I go once I have arrived?

Graduates should register at the Thomas Cherry Building (accessible via the carpark/bus bay side) for gowning.  All other guests should move outside to the Agora West Courtyard (where Subway is) to wait for you to exit the building in your regalia (gown and cap).

Where do I get my gown and cap?

At the Thomas Cherry Building after you have registered. Your guests will outside to the Agora West Courtyard (where Subway is) for you to exit the Thomas Cherry building in your regalia (gown and cap).

Where can we go on campus?

Once you have been presented with your Testamur (degree certificate) you and your guests are free to explore the campus at your leisure. Please note that you will receive a foot map before the day of activities and great photo locations and events.

Is food available for purchase?

Limited retailers will be open on campus selling light refreshments. We cannot guarantee that all dietary requirements can be catered for. Our retailers are looking forward to serving you and your guests.

How long can we stay?

Two hours.To keep visitor numbers within compliant levels, you and your guests may stay for a maximum of two hours from your designated start time. Penalties may apply if you return your gown later than two hours.

Will there be professional photography?

Reed Photography will be available for professional photography and will be offering a complimentary studio session for all graduands and their guests (normally valued at $30). Please visit the photography lounge on the day. No booking required. Images can be purchased on the day.

I have read the FAQ’s and still have a question, who should I contact?

Please contact Ask La Trobe.