The University of Newcastle, Australia

Indigenous student success at UON’s Port Macquarie Graduation

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Three Indigenous nursing graduands will take to the stage at the University of Newcastle (UON) Port Macquarie graduation ceremony on Friday, alongside 72 undergraduate, postgraduate and enabling students.

Joshua Paulson

Among the graduands is Joshua Paulson, a Worimi and Baudjalung man, growing up on Biripi country (Taree). Mr Paulson will now commence UON’s Joint Medical Program (MD - JMP) later this month.

After beginning as an Enrolled Nurse and going on to work full time with Taree Aged Care and Rehabilitation Services, Mr Paulson enrolled at UON’s Port Macquarie campus in 2014, where he studied nursing full time.

“I’m so happy and proud to finally be graduating especially with my cohort and friends. I’m ready for a change of pace both in where I live and study, so I’m excited to start my second degree in medicine and now have a great safety net in nursing, which I love,” he said.

UON now enrols more than 1,000 Indigenous students, the largest number of any Australian university*, and has graduated almost half the country’s Indigenous doctors through the Joint Medical Program.

“I am looking forward to studying at UON again. The support and work that the Wollotuka Institute provides for their students is amazing and it is wonderful to know that the University is focused on supporting Indigenous education,” Mr Paulson said.

The 2017 ceremony will recognise nine postgraduate students, 62 undergraduate students and four enabling pathway students.

UON Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen, congratulated all 2016 graduates on their achievements and for embarking on the next stage of their careers.

“Graduation is an important milestone for our students that recognises years of hard work and commitment. Employers in the Port Macquarie region and beyond will benefit from the skills and experience of more than 70 graduates with a world-class tertiary education across teaching, nursing and midwifery,” she said.

“We are also delighted to recognise the success of our Indigenous nursing students this year, which builds on UON’s commitment to Indigenous education and reflects our steady increase in Indigenous enrolments, particularly in the health and medical fields,” she added.

UON Port Macquarie campus is set to welcome just over 100 new students in 2017.

The graduation ceremony will take place on Friday 17 February from 1pm at the Glasshouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre.

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Find out more about UON's Joint Medical Program

*Source: Department of Education and Training 2015 student data.

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