Graduates embark on a new chapter

BE ENTREPRENEURIAL: Keynote speaker Michaela Bolzan encouraged graduates to forge their own opportunities. Photo: Contributed
BE ENTREPRENEURIAL: Keynote speaker Michaela Bolzan encouraged graduates to forge their own opportunities. Photo: Contributed

Years of classes, assignments and studying came to an end for 14 University of Wollongong (UOW) Southern Highlands students on Monday.

The UOW Southern Highlands graduation was held at Dormie House in Moss Vale on December 4.

Students tipped their caps and accepted their Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Teaching degrees from Professor Tracey Moroney, who represented UOW’s Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings on the day.

The keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony was Southern Highlands Writers Festival director and Creative and Co creative director Michaela Bolzan.

Ms Bolzan spoke about the opportunities her Bachelor of Arts degree gave her, and shared her advice on how to succeed in your chosen field. “My message was about the importance of education and tertiary education in being able to drive your career further ahead,” she said. “Don’t just rely on others. Try to be entrepreneurial in your thinking.”

Ms Bolzan said after years of hard work, the day was a milestone for graduates and their families.

“They worked so hard to juggle their studies with family and work,” she said.

“Getting to that day, they could see the fruits of their labour.”

My message was about the importance of education and tertiary education in being able to drive your career further ahead.

Southern Highlands Writers Festival director and Creative and Co creative director Michaela Bolzan

UOW Southern Highlands campus manager Stephen Lowe said the graduation ceremony was a celebration, and recognition of students’ hard work and determination to succeed. Several students juggled their studies with work and raising families, while others were the first in their family to achieve a tertiary qualification.

“To complete a degree and reach graduation is a milestone,” Mr Lowe said. “To balance other commitments with the rigour of study is an achievement.”

Mr Lowe said as the campus was small, there was a sense of family on campus.

“I get to know the students quite well, and I get to see their trials and tribulations. I’m really proud of all of them.”