Port Macquarie celebrates first graduation

Monday 21 Dec 2015

Graduation at CSUCharles Sturt University (CSU) in Port Macquarie will mark another significant milestone today, celebrating its first graduation ceremony.

150 students will graduate from 65 programs on Monday 21 December. 147 of these students are due to attend the ceremony and they are expected to be joined by more than 450 guests at 10.30am at the Glasshouse.

Prior to the ceremony, graduands and academics will walk in a procession down Hay Street to the Glasshouse, in front of the Port Macquarie local community.

"This graduation ceremony is not only a celebration of the 2015 Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie cohort, but also a celebration of everything the University and the Port Macquarie community have been able to achieve together for higher education," Head of Campus Professor Heather Cavanagh said.

"In establishing a campus in Port Macquarie, Charles Sturt University hoped to develop a sustainable learning community dedicated to the growth and prosperity of the region and its people. With our graduates now heading out into the community and working for the community, we are another step closer to realising this vision."

Amongst the students graduating will be those who have studied on campus for the last three years in the Bachelors of Accounting, Applied Science, Business, Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Creative Arts and Design, Criminal Justice, Education, Social Science and Social Work programs.

Other graduands attending the ceremony may have studied online or at another CSU campus.

Ms Helen Atkins will be graduating from the Bachelor of Clinical Practise (Paramedic) and will begin working as a paramedic in Taree in January.

"After careers in communication and immigration, I decided it was time to do something that would involve me in the community more and allow me to help the vulnerable members of the community," Ms Atkins said.

"I know the career I am heading for will be demanding and very full-on but I'm driven by challenges and am determined to establish a successful, stable and community-orientated career for my children.

"I've always enjoyed being part of the Mid-North Coast community and It's great to have a closeness to the community I'll be working for. I'm looking forward to putting theory into practice; I've learnt so much at uni and to be able to put my skills and knowledge to the test everyday will be great."

Ceremony highlights include:

The awards will be conferred by CSU Chancellor Dr Michele Allan. Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann will also be in attendance.

The Occasional Address will be delivered by Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Cr Peter Besseling.

150 students are eligible to receive their awards from 65 programs.

Student highlights include:

Ms Helen Atkins

Ms Atkins is a Mid-North Coast local who studied the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) as part of a career change. She was an original member of the Port Macquarie Student Representative Council and participated in a CSU Global tip to Thailand to observe international paramedic practice. Ms Atkins has accepted a position with NSW Ambulance and will begin working in Taree in January. Ms Atkins will be joined at the ceremony by her parents and two children.

Miss Jessica Genders and Miss Ebony Langdon

Miss Genders and Miss Langdon are both Port Macquarie locals who will graduate from the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic). Both participated in CSU Global trips which saw them travel to China, England and Thailand to observe international paramedic practice. Miss Genders has received an offer of employment from the London Ambulance Service and Miss Langdon has received an offer from the South Central Ambulance Service in Oxford, UK. Both will be moving to the UK in 2016.

Mr Nigel Durbridge

Mr Durbridge enrolled in the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) as a mature-age student. He support himself during his studies by working as an enrolled nurse at Port Macquarie Base Hospital. Mr Durbridge participated in CSU Global trips to London and China and has received an offer of employment from the London Ambulance Service. He will relocate to London next year.

Ms Jody Denny

Ms Denny will graduate from the Bachelor of Social Work. She will receive the Anglicare Regional Alliance Prize for a sustained application of the principles of social justice, equity, empowerment and self-determination throughout her studies.


Media contact: Hannah Guilfoyle, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Some students will be available for interviews from 9am. Professor Heather Cavanagh will be available for interviews between 9.30am and 10am at Rydges, Clarence Street.

The procession along Hay Street will leave Rydges at 10.10am.

The graduation ceremony will be held at the Glasshouse, Clarence Street from 10.30am until approximately 12noon. Students will be available for interviews and the obligatory mortarboard throwing shots after the ceremony, at the Glasshouse.

Hannah Guilfoyle from CSU Media will be in attendance. Please contact her on 0417 125 795 to arrange interviews.