More than 1,000 University of Newcastle students will celebrate the completion of their studies during ceremonies at the Callaghan campus on Thursday 4 October and Friday 5 October.
Over the two days 139 Faculty of Health, 383 Faculty of Business and Law, 90 Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, 174 Faculty of Science and Information Technology and 219 Faculty of Education and Arts students will don graduation robes and reflect on their higher education achievements.
Forty-two students will receive a PhD and 11 will collect a Professional Doctorate.
Former University of Newcastle student, psychology academic and Chancellor, Professor Trevor Waring AM, will receive an honorary degree at 10am on Friday during the Faculty of Science and Information Technology ceremony.
Graduation highlights and details of the occasional speakers for each ceremony follow.
► Friday 5 October - Octogenarian proves you’re never too old to learn
2pm: Faculty of Education and Arts
Joyce Barry is not your typical octogenarian. She already has three degrees and this Friday the 86-year-old will accept her PhD.
The achievement will be celebrated with her six sons, one of whom is travelling from London to witness the special occasion.
Born in England, Mrs Barry’s early school education was interrupted when World War II broke out and she and her younger brother spent two years as evacuees along with thousands of other London children. Homesick, the pair returned to London and lived through The Blitz.
“By the time I was 15 my piecemeal education, taking place when not in air-raid shelters, had suffered and I left school to become a junior clerk in an office near Tower Bridge. Five years later I was married and in 1949 came to Sydney where my six sons were born and their education became my priority.”
When Mrs Barry’s late husband retired and the couple moved to the Central Coast in 1984 she completed an enabling course in English and Philosophy through the University of Newcastle.
When she was almost 60, Mrs Barry began studying part-time a Bachelor of Arts through the University. She took nine years to complete the degree, a result of taking over the care of her mother following the sudden early death of her younger brother. She later completed her Honours and Masters, focusing on Shakespearen comedy and drama. Continuing to focus on her passion of literature, Mrs Barry’s PhD thesis examines a topic very close to her heart, 17th Century English literary identity Samuel Pepys.
Mrs Barry said her experience of higher education had been extremely rewarding.
“I’ve found the research so exciting – I’ve really loved it, it’s like being a detective. I cannot explain how much the last 27 years studying have enriched my life, and the lives of those around me - much younger people of course, who have said they have been inspired to follow suit.”
Throughout her postgraduate study, Mrs Barry’s supervisor, Professor Hugh Craig has offered unwavering support.
“His dedication to teaching, his kindness and his knowledge have also greatly enriched my quality of life at a time when most people’s thoughts are of their life ending.” She also valued the support from her second supervisor Dr Shane Holtaas.
Mrs Barry’s passion for writing and literature will feed her next project, a book about her early life experiences in England.
“My sons know I went through The London Blitz, during the second World War. They don’t encourage me to talk about it because they do not like to think of me living through such an experience, but have always asked if I would write about it for them and their children.”
Joyce Barry will accept her PhD at the Faculty of Education and Arts ceremony at 2pm on Friday 5 October.
► Friday 5 October – Study in Newcastle is music to Shu Hung’s ears
2pm: Faculty of Education and Arts
The joy of singing and the power of music are close to Chinese student Shu Hung Kwan’s heart.
The 24-year-old dreams of one day becoming a singer and “bringing the sound of joy to people”.
Shu Hung holds an associate degree in music from the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and will graduate with a Bachelor of Music from the University on Friday.
The friendly nature of the Newcastle community has left a lasting impression on Shu Hung.
“Since I came to Newcastle I have met a lot of very kind people. The teachers at Newcastle are great, thoughtful and take care of the students, so I adjusted to university life very quickly,” he said.
Studying in Newcastle has also offered Shu Hung several unique experiences, including the opportunity to join the University’s Chamber Choir and travel overseas to participate in choral competitions.
“Singing in the Chamber Choir was a great experience. We competed at the Australian National Eisteddfod in Canberra, winning the Australian Open Choir Championship. We also brought home three silver medals from the World Choir Games in Cincinnati.”
During the World Games campaign, the Chamber Choir’s conductor Dr Phillip Matthias invited Shu Hung to be a soloist. He also conducted the choir at the United Nations headquarters general assembly hall during the USA tour, fuelling his aspirations to become a choral conductor.
Shu Hung will undertake his masters to further his knowledge of music.
Shu Hung Kwan will graduate with a Bachelor of Music at the Faculty of Education and Arts ceremony at 2pm on Friday 5 October.
►Friday 5 October – Globe-trotting graduate has teaching in her blood
2pm: Faculty of Education and Arts
Globe-trotting graduate Aimee Fitzgerald will farewell her university days armed with a teaching degree and a well-used passport.
The 23-year-old, originally from Gilgandra, participated in the University of Newcastle’s International Leadership Experience and Development Program (iLead) and also spread her wings with travel while completing her studies.
“Throughout my university study I had the privilege of setting foot in 13 different countries. Some travel was private with friends I had met at university and two trips were part of the iLead program.”
As part of her first iLead experience Aimee was selected to represent the University on a cultural exchange tour in Shohoku, Japan. During her exchange, Aimee stayed at the Sony Institute of Technology dorms and spent time with a local family who took her to Tokyo Disneyland, a local school and introduced her to the mayor of Tokyo.
In the second program, Aimee travelled to India and volunteered with LifeHouse Charitable Trust in Agra (the city of the Taj), set up to help the children whose lifestyle is to beg on the railway line.
Aimee will graduate with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary)/Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies with Distinction.
“I really wanted to work with children and coming from a family of teachers it was impossible not to join them - I think teaching is in my blood.”
►Thursday 4 October
10am: Faculty of Health
Occasional Speaker: Professor Geoff Cutfield
Professor Geoff Cutfield is a dedicated educator and student advocate whose significant contributions to the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Health have helped shape its flagship Joint Medical Program. New Zealand-born Professor Cutfield has worked extensively in medical education throughout Australia over the past 20 years. From 1989 until 1993, he was an Associate Professor in anaesthesia and intensive care at the University of New South Wales and senior staff specialist in cardiothoracic care at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.
After moving to Newcastle, Professor Cutfield provided 15 years of dedication and leadership to the University’s School of Medicine as Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, course coordinator, tutor and student mentor.
In 2009, Professor Cutfield returned to his native New Zealand to take up the position of Clinical Education Advisor at the University of Otago’s Dunedin School of Medicine. He is currently Director of Clinical Skills in the University’s Faculty of Medicine, where his work is largely in the area of clinical teaching and curriculum development.
2pm: Faculty of Business and Law
Occasional Speaker: Professor Richard Dunford
For the past two decades, Professor Richard Dunford has led the development of teaching and research in business management disciplines at universities across NSW and New Zealand.
Professor Dunford was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle in April 2012. Prior to joining the University, he was the Head of Discipline of International Business, and a Professor of Business Strategy at the University of Sydney Business School from 2008; and interim Dean of the Macquarie School of Management from 2004 to 2005. Professor Dunford is a strong researcher with a focus on strategic management, organisational design and change, whose theories are sought after internationally. As well as working within the university sector, Professor Dunford has advised on executive development with major corporations including the ANZ Bank, Pfizer, QV, Research International, Telstra, Unilever and US AID.
A Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, Professor Dunford was a member of the Excellence in Research Australia Social, Behavioural and Economic panel that in 2010 reviewed the research in these areas at all Australian universities.
6pm: Faculty of Business and Law and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
Occasional Speaker: Mr Doug Dean AM
University of Newcastle alumnus Mr Doug Dean AM is the Managing Director of Veolia Environmental Services and one of Australia’s foremost leaders in environmental and corporate sustainability.
Mr Dean has held a number of company director roles in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa and the United States and is also Chairman of the Veolia Environment Group in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2008, Mr Dean was named on the Leaders List by WME, Australia’s leading environmental business magazine, which showcased 10 of the nation’s foremost leaders of environmental and corporate sustainability. Mr Dean was awarded this accolade for his influence and leadership within the waste and resources sector.
In 2012 Mr Dean was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his dedication to business and commerce through the development and provision of sustainable waste management and resource recovery solutions and for his contribution to the community.
►Friday 5 October
10am: Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Occasional Speaker: Professor Trevor Waring
Over the past five decades, Professor Trevor Waring AM has contributed greatly to the University of Newcastle as a student, psychology academic and the head of the institution.
Professor Waring began his working life at BHP’s Newcastle steel mill before enrolling at the University in 1966 to study psychology as a mature aged student.
While building his career in psychology, Professor Waring maintained strong links with the University of Newcastle. In 1984, he was elected to University Council; in 1995 he became Conjoint Professor of psychology; in 1997 he was named Deputy Chancellor; and on 1 May 2004 he became Chancellor – the first graduate of the University and the first Newcastle resident to do so. He held the position until May this year.
Also in 2004, Professor Waring was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for his work in mental health and psychology. He retired from practising psychology in June last year after 40 years in the profession.
Professor Waring has played a pivotal role in regulating the practice of psychology and suicide prevention policy across Australia. For this, and his leadership in streamlining the accreditation of university psychologist training programs, he received the 2011 Australian Psychology Society President's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology.
Professor Waring serves as chairman of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, is on the Hunter New England Local Health District Board and is on the board of the Samaritans, one of Australia’s largest regional welfare organisations.
Professor Waring AM, will receive an honorary degree at 10am on Friday during the Faculty of Science and Information Technology ceremony.
2pm: Faculty of Education and Arts
Occasional Speaker: Associate Professor Mel Dunn
Associate Professor Mel Dunn has built a career on bridging the gap between developing countries and the first world.
He has two decades experience in the education, training, development and foreign aid sectors, which has included teaching, curriculum development, technical assistance and project management in Australia and more than 20 other countries.
Since 2010, Associate Professor Dunn has led UniQuest’s International Development Division. UniQuest works with international aid agencies and other partners to help developing nations improve their infrastructure, economies and communities.
Associate Professor Dunn has a demonstrated track record in strategic leadership and change, creating sustainable business outcomes for businesses in developing countries.
In 2009, Associate Professor Dunn was appointed a White Ribbon Ambassador, campaigning for the elimination of violence against women.
Associate Professor Dunn’s research and project interests have centred on gender, specifically the role of men in the pursuit of equality; the integration of theory and practice to address complex development challenges; and in the role that non-formal and informal education can play to reduce poverty.