More than 30 University of Wollongong students celebrated their graduation from the Bega campus this week.
It was the only moment I’ve had in my life where it’s felt like a light bulb has gone off in my head.Bermagui’s Maddy Charlton-Owen
From commerce to management, the graduates gathered in the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre on Thursday, December 6 to share their achievements with friends, family, colleagues and the wider community.
After years of dedication they were all smiles before the presentation ceremony.
Mogareeka resident Liane Munro completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology after six years of study and has started her honours degree which will allow her to focus on her passion.
“I am really interested in how we connect together,” she said.
“And now I have studied it I’m interested in what unites us and what divides us.
“I am looking at voluntary groups and how they can build cohesion, especially activist groups.
“With climate change I think this is very important.
“We have to start really adapting and lean into our groups and support systems.”
Bermagui’s Maddy Charlton-Owen is on her way to becoming a nurse after finishing her Bachelor of Nursing degree this year.
She has been offered work at the Calvary Public Hospital Bruce in Canberra and is also keen to take her skills overseas.
“The degree was suggested to me by my folks and I haven’t looked back since,” the 24-year-old said.
“It was the only moment I’ve had in my life where it’s felt like a light bulb has gone off in my head.”
Eden’s Kayla Robbie went through the university’s high school program and became a mentor.
This year she completed her Bachelor of Arts in community, culture and environment, and will begin a Master of Primary Teaching next year in Wollongong.
“I just love working with kids. I’ve done some work placements and I’ve really enjoyed it. It has been inspiring,” the 22-year-old said.
“I want to make a difference and help people.”
She said the key to educating young people is to make learning “fun and interesting” and to involve kids in their own learning experience.
While she said she enjoys life on the Far South Coast, a move to Wollongong next year will allow her to experience a larger campus, she said.
Djiringanj and Ngarigo Elder Aunty Colleen Dixon welcomed the crowd to Djiringanj land and Bega campus manager Sam Avitaia welcomed guests.
Bega Valley Shire deputy-mayor Mitchell Nadin congratulated the students on their achievements.
The university’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach) Professor Paul Chandler presented the graduates with their hard earned degrees.