The University of Newcastle, Australia

Nathalie ‘develops’ passion for learning

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Nathalie Gentle's three children call her a nerd, but she doesn't mind at all.  Today, Wednesday April 30, Nathalie will graduate with first class honours from the Bachelor of Development Studies; receive the University Medal; and will also deliver the graduate address.

Nathalie Gentle story"I think my children are proud of me in their own special way. They don't say much about my achievements but I know deep down they are impressed."

Nathalie's first taste of University life began seven years ago, igniting a passion for learning. 

"I remember something switched on inside of me during my first Human Geography course at university. My eyes were opened to global inequities, such as poverty in developing countries, and as development practitioners how we could go about addressing the major issues."

After completing a Bachelor of Development Studies in 2012, she embarked on a journey that has seen her complete her honours in 2013, and begin a PhD focusing on urban energy transition.

"Urban energy transition is a hot topic internationally and not a lot of Australian geographical research has been undertaken in this field in our cities."

Nathalie said she has been thoroughly enjoying the rewarding experience of university study.

"I've been so surprised by the whole experience. It really is wonderful to push yourself hard and be rewarded with a degree at the end. It's a perfect ending."

One thing is certain though; there can be some stressful times in the Gentle home.  

In addition to Nathalie's study commitments, her 20-year-old daughter, Claire is halfway through a UON early childhood/primary teaching degree, her 17-year-old daughter, Emi is doing her HSC and her 15-year-old son Aidan is tackling Year 11.

"I don't think I would have achieved what I have at university without the amazing support from my husband, Steve."

Nathalie Gentle will graduate with first class honours in a Bachelor of Developmental Studies and the University Medal at the Faculty of Science and Information Technology ceremony at 10am on Wednesday 30 April.


More than 2800 students are expected to graduate across 15 ceremonies at the University's Callaghan campus by the end of this fortnight. Students from the Faculty of Education and Arts and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment graduated during six ceremonies last week.

This week the Great Hall will host ceremonies for the Faculty of Science and Information Technology and English Language and Foundation Studies Centre on Wednesday 30 April; the Faculty of Health and Medicine on Thursday 1 May and Friday 2 May; and the Faculty of Business and Law on Friday 2 May.

  • Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations
  • Phone: +61 2 4985 4276 or 0428 038 477.

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