Semester two graduation ceremonies for University of Newcastle students will be held on Friday 9 October 2009 in the Great Hall, Callaghan campus.
A total of 1,147 students are eligible to graduate.
For more information please visit the Graduation Website
10am - Faculty of Business and Law
The Occasional Address will be by Professor Peter Shergold. Professor Shergold has enjoyed highly successful careers in the public service and academia. For two decades he was CEO of a number of government departments, culminating in his appointment as Australia’s most senior public servant – Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has lectured in many universities in Australia and overseas and has twice been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.
Currently the Macquarie Group Foundation Professor at the Centre for Social Impact, Professor Shergold was made an Order of Australia for public service in 1996, received the Centennial Medal in 2003 and was given Australia’s highest award – the Companion of the Order of Australia – in 2007.
2pm - Faculty of Health / Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The Occasional Address will be by Lieutenant Colonel Kim Sullivan, Staff Officer Grade One Health – Global Operations at the operational headquarters for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan’s career in nursing spans almost three decades, with the past 20 years spent serving the ADF. His nursing expertise has taken him across the world with deployments in Papua New Guinea, Bouganville, East Timor and Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan is noted for his proactive role in improving the survival rates of soldiers who are casualties of war.
6pm - Faculty of Education and Arts / Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
The Occasional Address will be by Professor Richard Vella. A leading academic and composer with a career spanning more than 20 years, Professor Vella is internationally recognised for his dynamic and diverse works for orchestras, large ensembles, films and the theatre. He is currently Professor of Music at the University of Newcastle’s Conservatorium of Music, and is guiding the Conservatorium in a new direction to ensure it keeps pace with the rapidly developing music industry. Among his many achievements is the Australian Film Institute’s 1999 Australian Screen Composer’s Award for best music, for the feature film ‘Travelling Light’. In 2009 Professor Vella was appointed Chair of the peak tertiary music body, the National Council for Tertiary Music Schools.
Studies put the bite on ancient predators
At first glance, the link between medicine and the bite force of ancient predators, including dinosaurs and crocodiles, may seem tenuous. For Dr Colin McHenry it is just one spin-off from his PhD work on the biomechanics of carnivorous reptiles and mammals.
Receiving his PhD at the 2pm graduation ceremony, Dr McHenry uses three-dimensional computer modelling to predict the mechanical behaviour of the skulls and jaws of various extinct species to ascertain what they were and were not capable of doing.
His PhD thesis Devourer of Gods: The palaeoecology of the Cretaceous pliosaur Kronosaurus queenslandicus determined that the Kronosaurus – a massive marine reptile that inhabited western Queensland more than 100 million years ago – had the capacity to catch, kill and eat prey ranging from several kilograms to several tonnes in size.
“An added advantage of my work is gaining an insight into the way organisms are engineered,” Dr McHenry said. “This has significant potential application to medical biomechanics, including surgical repair of bone fractures and the development of orthopedic prostheses like hip replacements.”
‘Superwoman’ achieves a long-held dream
Lisa Jones could be described as something of a superwoman.
Not only did she balance full-time study with her job as a police officer and caring for two young children (with another due in November), Mrs Jones completed her Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours Class I and achieved a University Medal.
Encouraged by a strong network of family and friends including husband Mark, a fellow police officer, Mrs Jones said she was fortunate to have the support of people who believed in her.
“My parents always told me that if I wanted something badly enough I should go for it, no matter what and completing my law degree has been a long-held dream,” Mrs Jones said.
“I think it is important to make the people you love a part of what you are trying to achieve. I can remember many nights sitting up and breastfeeding one of my children and reading aloud to them from law textbooks.
“I guess that has been my secret – I have always tried to fit my studies around my children. They are my greatest achievement and everything else is a bonus.”
A police officer since 2001, Mrs Jones’s goal is to work for the NSW Police Prosecution Unit and eventually the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
She will also be the graduation speaker at the 10am ceremony.
Photo and interview opportunities will be available.