The University of Newcastle, Australia

Graduation Ceremonies

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

University of Newcastle celebrates Callaghan graduates


More than 1102 students will celebrate the completion of their studies at the Callaghan campus on Thursday 3 October and Friday 4 October.

Graduates will receive their degree from a world-class institution that ranks in the top three per cent of universities in the world, and in the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old.

Graduating from the most research-intensive regional university in Australia, students will join an impressive alumni including:

  • Cheong-Chua Koon Hean, who graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Newcastle in 1981 and has become a global leader in urban renewal. He is now responsible for Singapore's urban design, which has won many international awards.
  • Yasser Hamed, who graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 2002 and is now responsible for the research and development behind producing high end digital effects and animation for the feature films Beowulf, Alice in Wonderland and Tangled. Yasser also developed animation software tools for use in Happy Feet, and
  • Donna Odegaard, who graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 2002 from the University of Newcastle and was appointed Chief Executive of Radio Larrakia in 2005, where she oversaw the restructure and redevelopment of the station. She then went on to complete her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Newcastle in 2011.

Committed to equity, excellence and engagement, 26 percent of University of Newcastle students are from low socioeconomic backgrounds, this is significantly higher than the national average of 18 percent. The University of Newcastle retains more than 80 percent of those students, which means they are among the more than one thousand students celebrating their graduation this week.

 "Recognising the transformative power of education, the University is a leader in providing more opportunities for people with ability and determination to enter higher education regardless of their background and circumstances," said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen

An occasional speaker will address and inspire graduates at each of the five ceremonies over the two days.



Thursday 3 October

10am: Faculty of Science and Technology

Occasional Speaker: Dr Brent Jenkins

Dr Brent Jenkins is the outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Newcastle Innovation Limited (NI), the business arm of the University of Newcastle charged with managing a range of activities including technology transfer and commercialisation of research.

Since taking up the role in 2007, Dr Jenkins has been responsible for leading all aspects of NI's operations including strategy development, work health and safety, financial performance, marketing, business development and the professional development of staff. He led a team of 12 staff in the corporate office and a further 90 staff working on a variety of research related projects across the broad fields of minerals, energy, health and science.

Thursday 3 October

2pm: Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Occasional Speaker: Dr John Blakemore

Dr John Blakemore is recognised in Australia and internationally as a leader in industrial engineering and manufacturing.

In 2007 he was voted one of the top 10 Engineers in Australia for engineering innovation and expertise by Engineers Australia. Dr Blakemore was awarded a Bachelor of Science from the University of NSW in 1964 after completing a part time degree at the Newcastle University College and a Master of Science from the University of Newcastle in 1966 where he became the first graduate of the University of Newcastle. In 1969 he graduated with a PhD as an International Nickel Fellow at the University of Newcastle and then completed post- doctoral studies in Nuclear Physics at the University of NSW.

Thursday 3 October

6pm: Faculty of Business and Law

Occasional Speaker: Adjunct Professor Brett Biddington AM

Adjunct Professor Brett Biddington AM is the founder of a Canberra-based consulting company which specialises in space and cyber security matters. Between 2002 and 2009 he was a member of Cisco Systems' global space team which had been formed to transform global space communications by placing internetworking technologies in space.

In 2002 Mr Biddington left the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on completion of almost 23 years of service. He was an intelligence and security specialist before moving into capability development. During this time he sponsored command and control, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare projects including the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar project and classified and unclassified space initiatives.

Friday 4 October

10am: Faculty of Education and Arts

Occasional Speaker: Dr John Ainley

Dr John Ainley has had a distinguished career at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) which has spanned more than 30 years.He was Deputy CEO and head of the Research Division at ACER and Research Director of its surveys program from 2000 to 2010.

Dr Ainley has undertaken a number of major research studies for national and state education authorities, including analyses of the progress of young people through school, further education, training and work and the influences on subject choices in the senior secondary years. He has used longitudinal research methods to study the development of literacy over the first five years of school.

Friday 4 October

2pm: Faculty of Health and Medicine

Occasional Speaker: Associate Professor Stephanie Fox-Young

For more than 30 years Associate Professor Stephanie Fox-Young has made significant contributions in the areas of professional regulation and nurse education in both the hospital and tertiary education sectors.

A former national president of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA), Associate Professor Fox-Young is currently a member of the Queensland Health Quality and Complaints Commission's Clinical Advisory Committee, Director of the Transitional Board of Australian College of Nursing and is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing.

  • Sheena Martin
  • Phone: +61 2 4921 8714

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