THIRTEEN students are ready to embark on the next phase of their lives after graduating from the University of Wollongong’s Batemans Bay campus on Thursday.
Graduates ranged in age from 22 to 50-plus and among them were two Bachelor of Commerce, seven Bachelor of Arts, two Bachelor of Arts Honours and two Diploma of Education students.
“We have fewer graduates this year, because most of the courses finish next year, but we have the cream of the crop here today,” Batemans Bay campus manager Gayl Vidgen said.
Tomakin’s Troy Murphy, 40, said completing his Bachelor of Arts Politics honours year was life-changing.
“The opportunity to study at this level in a regional area is huge,” he said.
“The support has been outstanding and the performance and the service of the tutors can’t be quantified. They are the ones who make it all possible.”
As a mature-age student, Mr Murphy took a different pathway to most of Thursday’s graduates.
“The experience has been something, I can’t say enough about really,” he said.
Troy’s partner Renee Eagan and family members from Queensland were there.
Ben Hirzinger, 25, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in management and marketing and said the campus’ best asset could be summed up with one word: “Flexibility.”
The former Batemans Bay High School student completed his course in one year full-time and four years part-time.
“Being able to do it part-time and work meant not having to struggle financially,” he said.
“It also meant that I could keep my network of Batemans Bay friends and make university friends as well.
“The tutors here have worked for companies and they have real-world experience, so you can apply what you learn in the real world,” he said.
Bruce and Lysanne Cameron watched daughter Ella McDermott graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with honours.
“She achieved a distinction average and was awarded a dean scholarship, and got to study at the University of Calgary (Canada),” Mr Cameron said.