Resilience and determination yield results for graphic designer

11 DECEMBER 2019

Resilience and determination yield results for graphic designer

A Charles Sturt University graduate and University Medal recipient said her degree has created opportunities and given her a lifelong love of learning.

  • A Hawkesbury Region first-in-family Charles Sturt graduate to be awarded the University Medal at ceremony in Bathurst on Thursday 12 December
  • She will also deliver the Vote of Thanks speech for fellow graduates, and praise Charles Sturt’s flexibility, industry-leading lecturers, and convenience of online study
  • Completing her arts degree gave her a sense of achievement, employment opportunities and a love of lifelong learning

A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) graduate and University Medal recipient said her degree has created opportunities and given her a lifelong love of learning.

Medal recipient Ms Sarah Micallef (on left in picture above) will graduate from the Charles Sturt School of Communication and Creative Industries with a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design (Graphic Design) at the Faculty of Arts and Education graduation ceremony in Bathurst at 6pm on Thursday 12 December.

Ms Micallef grew up in Freemans Reach in the Hawkesbury region of NSW and is the first in her immediate family to attend university.

“I chose to study at Charles Sturt University not only for the fantastic flexibility that the University offers in terms of determining one’s own progression speed, but also for the industry-leading teachers within the University plus the convenience to study entirely online,” Ms Micallef said.


“To be taught and guided by high achieving and passionate experts within a range of fields has been an amazing privilege.

“The award of the University Medal adds another very real sense of accomplishment to graduation, acknowledging that I gave all of my effort and have realised the results I had hoped for is proof that hard work, persistence, lots of late nights and caffeine do pay off.

“I’m also very excited to be delivering the Vote of Thanks speech at the graduation ceremony on behalf of my fellow graduates – it’s a huge honour.

“And finally completing my degree also comes with a special sense of achievement for my family, so I’m really excited for the opportunities this degree has created for me and the lifelong love of learning it has made me realise.”

While her degree focused primarily on graphic design, Ms Micallef said she was fortunate enough to have access to a wide range of elective options, and ended up choosing subjects including American literature, Islamic design, digital media and sound design.

“These not only gave me the chance to extend my learning and find new areas of interest, but also to challenge me to learn things I had never expected to,” she said.

“My time at Charles Sturt University has not only been instrumental in terms of my learning, but has also changed who I am as a person.

“The critical thinking skills, in particular, that I have acquired throughout my course are something I now use daily and have changed my relationships, my view of the environments I interact with, and the way in which I behave as a global citizen.”

In advice to future students undertaking this degree she says, “Creative burnout is a real risk within this degree as it can sometimes feel like you’ve no ideas left and keep coming to dead ends with tasks and assignments.


“You might worry that you’ve come to a standstill in your work, but this is why you’ve got to show even more resilience and keep going; your creative flow and passion for your work will absolutely always return, I promise.”

Ms Micallef is currently applying for industry positions and said she is keeping a very open mind regarding where her degree might take her, as the range of skills acquired through the degree are applicable to a variety of positions.

She is also considering several options for postgraduate study.

“I am definitely going to keep studying with Charles Sturt University by undertaking a Master of Communication in 2020, since my time at the University has highlighted not only how important ongoing learning is, but how fulfilling and enjoyable it can be too.” she said.

Charles Sturt Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Ms Jenny Roberts said Ms Micallef showed outstanding scholarly application and justly deserves the University Medal for her achievements. “I congratulate Sarah, and wish her every success for her future career and for her continuing postgraduate studies at Charles Sturt University,” Ms Roberts said.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Sarah Micallef contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or news@csu.edu.au

In-story photo provided by Ms Sarah Micallef: This design called ‘Symbiosis?’ was an exploration of how non-sustainable waste products could be integrated with natural materials in order to house the wildlife that is being displaced through unprecedented rates of urban development, which is one of Ms Micallef’s special interests.

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Bathurst Orange Arts and Culture Charles Sturt University Communication and Creative Industries