The University of Newcastle, Australia

Port Macquarie Graduation celebrates work-ready graduates

Monday, 3 February 2020

Years of textbooks and classes are over for the students graduating from the University of Newcastle’s Port Macquarie campus, as they get set to take their qualifications into the community.

Pictured: Evelyn Chatikobo

80 qualified nurses, primary teachers and midwives will graduate tomorrow, with many going on to help meet the regional workforce needs for health and education professionals.

One of those graduating is Evelyn Chatikobo, who has completed a Bachelor of Midwifery.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Evelyn moved to Australia in 2008.

Although her skills were in accounting, Evelyn decided it was time to change careers, and began a nursing degree. She later settled on midwifery.

One month into her degree, Evelyn found out she was pregnant. She was able to keep up with study, a baby on the way, and illness in her family, through dedication to get her qualification.

Given the challenges, Evelyn is extremely proud to be donning her hat and gown tomorrow and credits the support of her classmates plus the midwives, doctors, and patients that have allowed her to grow into the midwife she can happily call herself today.

“I hope my graduation inspires someone out there to go for their dreams, regardless of their background, ethnicity, hurdles and circumstances. The University of Newcastle certainly supports you when you reach out,” Evelyn said.

Evelyn starts her position as a midwife at Port Macquarie Base Hospital this week.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky, said Evelyn’s story was a powerful example of the dedicated students choosing the support of the University of Newcastle to achieve their goals. 

“Graduation is an opportunity for us to all to celebrate the achievements of our students, and those students come from all walks of life,” Professor Zelinsky said. 

“Completing a university degree whilst juggling other demands in life is an accomplishment to be really proud of.”

“I look forward to seeing what our students bring to their local communities, and I welcome them into our growing and inspiring global network of alumni.”

Last year, the University of Newcastle announced it would change the role of its Port Macquarie campus  to focus on postgraduate and research delivery. Although new undergraduate enrolments are no longer offered, continuing students are still being supported through to graduation, with the final cohort expected to complete their studies in 2021.

The relationship the University has with the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) and Port Macquarie Base Hospital has allowed students studying health-related degrees to experience work placements at the Base Hospital. Students get the satisfaction of contributing to the regional health workforce and health services available to the local community.

The graduation ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 4 February at 1pm at the Glasshouse - 30-42 Clarence Street &, Hay St, Port Macquarie.

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