To many locals, it still feels like a new enterprise, but The University of Wollongong’s (UoW) Bega campus was opened in 2000 and more than 500 local people have graduated from degrees offered by UoW in that time.
This week, over 150 people gathered at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre to celebrate the latest batch of graduates, 23 determined individuals from a range of disciplines, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Social Science and Master of Teaching Primary.
The mood was celebratory as graduates adjusted each other’s gowns and caps.
The graduation was presided over by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach) Professor Paul Chandler, one of Australia’s ten most pre-eminent researchers and an appointed member of the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council.
Liane Munro, of Tathra, was among those graduating and is at the end of four years of study, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts last year and honours in Sociology this year.
“It’s been interesting, reconciling my idea of who I am and what I can achieve, my self-esteem, with this new accomplishment,” she says “I’ve always looked up to academics and admired them.”But it’s not without a lot of effort that these graduates arrived here.
“Honours has been bloody hard work,” admits Liane “I’ve worked every day for twelve months, it’s been gruelling and a real learning curve.”
But Liane says she felt supported by UoW staff throughout her studies.
“My supervisor was a real gem, he was in Wollongong but we had video meetings every week.”
Mayor Kristy McBain gave a congratulatory address at the ceremony, Professor Paul Chandler gave the Occasional Address and Bachelor of Arts graduate Tasman Fitzer gave the vote of thanks.
The Sapphire Coast Anglican College String Quintet performed the processional fanfares, as well as entertaining the audience with a musical interlude.
Are you interested in learning more about getting your degree at The University of Wollongong’s Bega Campus? Find out more HERE.