Published in The Standard, March 16, 2013
YEARS of hard work and dedication have paid off for Warrnambool’s Deakin students who graduated yesterday.
Nearly 200 graduates gathered at the Lighthouse Theatre yesterday to celebrate the completion of their degrees.
Deakin Warrnambool Campus head Greg Wood encouraged graduates to enjoy the day and dream big for the future.
“Today is one of the most important, if not the most important day of the year where myself and colleagues can celebrate students’ achievements with them and their families,” he said.
Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh, the university’s chancellor David Morgan and vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander shared words of inspiration with the 450-strong crowd.
Graduates came from far and wide to attend yesterday’s ceremony.
Australian-born student Anne-Marie Kruk travelled from London to attend her graduation.
The 29-year-old completed her bachelor of commerce with distinction while working full- time overseas.
Her aspirations for the future include working for the United Nations and becoming a philanthropist.
“My parents always encouraged me to never stop learning and I’m just inspired to go onto further study and make a positive impact on the world,” Ms Kruk said.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Amor, who completed her bachelor of commerce with distinction, was joined by her three-month-old daughter Daisy as she celebrated her achievement with family.
Daisy was born a week and a half after Rebecca finished her last exam.
“My husband and parents have been so supportive,” she said.
“Even my five-year-old daughter Hannah supported me — we used to have study sessions together so she would do her homework while I did mine.”
The day also featured the graduation of Warrnambool campus’ first Sudanese refugee.
Otha Akoch, 50, completed a bachelor of arts and hoped to be an inspiration to other Sudanese refugees, as well as mature-aged students. Mr Akoch said he was inspired by a man who graduated at 94 years old and that it was never too late to acquire knowledge.