There was palpable excitement at the University of Wollongong’s graduation ceremony on Friday, December 7.
Students celebrated their achievement surrounded by friends and family.
Regardless of age, background, or area of study, all graduands – those about to receive a degree – shared a sense of pride, with a twinge of nerves.
After the ceremony, they could officially call themselves university graduates.
Student speaker Jessica Lord said graduating with her Masters of Teaching was one of her proudest accomplishments – and thanked the efforts of family, friends and teachers.
“I have been a student with UOW since 2012, and the Batemans Bay campus since 2014,” she said.
“I know everyone here today has put countless hours into their university career.
“To our teachers, this would not have been possible without your dedication and passion for us, your students.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn from you, work with you and grow, so that we too, can continue to be passionate learners, advocates and facilitators.”
Gowns were pinned on as the challenges of study fell away – although some, like Leonie Tan, would like to continue learning “forever”.
There were 34 graduates this year.
University spokeswoman (and former Batemans Bay campus student) Jade Andrews said the community-based campus provided an opportunity for Far South Coast residents to feed their love of learning, without leaving home.
“It builds connections, and is definitely a positive place to be,” she said.