The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus held the first in-person graduation ceremonies since the COVID-19 pandemic began, bringing the community together to celebrate the achievements of our 2020/2021 graduates.
University Chancellor, the Hon. Chris Ellison welcomed graduates and their guests to Sydney Town Hall for the occasion. “I want to thank you graduates for placing your trust in Notre Dame and allowing us to play an important part in your journey in life,” he said. “I also thank the loved ones who have supported you on this journey, which in more recent times, has been more challenging.”
Three ceremonies were held throughout the day to recognise all of our 2020 and some 2021 graduates across each of our Schools.
Highest achieving Bachelor of Arts graduate, Emma Kohen, was invited to give the Graduate’s Farewell Address at the first ceremony and spoke of her gratitude to finally be able to experience her graduation in person.
“We’ve lived through some strange, dare I say unprecedented times recently, and yet here we all are. Not to sound like a cliché, but we made it! We are so lucky to be here. It’s incredibly humbling to have made it this far – so many people don’t have access to the same opportunities that we have been given, so as we sit here today let us take a moment to consider what an honour and a privilege it is to be given access to such an excellent education,” she said.
In the Vice Chancellor’s closing address, Professor Francis Campbell congratulated graduates and acknowledged their “fortitude, patience and resilience” in the face of unexpected challenges during their final year of study.
“I want to pay tribute to our graduates for how you have come through these few months and remained focused on your studies. The difficulties you have faced during this pandemic will pass, but the strength of character and the resolve that you have all shown – this has tested you, and it will last a lifetime,” he said.
“For many, today is the culmination of their formal educational journey. Many of you, no doubt, will continue to higher degree studies and some of you have today graduated with our highest research degrees, our doctorates. But today marks a rite of passage for all, so it is appropriate that when we look back in gratitude, we also think of those first teachers; the first teachers in your home, your primary school and your secondary school and we say thank you to them for the gift of knowledge and meaning that they have passed down.”
We look forward to celebrating our Fremantle graduates at in-person ceremonies from Tuesday 13 to Friday 16 July 2021 at the RAC Arena, Perth.
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