Hats off as thousands of students celebrate graduation

Hats off as thousands of students celebrate graduation

Inspirational stories of courage and triumph ring out around UOW as 3,500 students graduate.

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For more photography of the graduands and ceremonies, see UOW's graduation website, the Alumni Facebook page and Storify

More than 15,000 people witnessed the graduation ceremonies on campus from Monday 15 to Friday 19 December.

Among those graduating were Benjamin Armstrong and Stephen Henry, UOW’s first Indigenous medical and surgery graduates, as well as double Master recipient Sovaia Sisi Coalala Faktaufon, who is totally blind. Sisi came to UOW from Fiji with her partially blind husband and carer on an Australia Awards Scholarship. She now has a Master of Commerce and a Master of Strategic Human Resource Management.

Inspirational stories of courage, perseverance and triumph over adversity rang out around UOW this week as more than 3,500 students donned caps and gowns to graduate.

PhD graduate Alfred Tawirirana Chidembo (pictured below) started off his schooling in a humble, remote village in Zimbabwe and walked 5km barefoot to school everyday. He is now at the forefront of next-generation battery technology, which it is hoped will one day lead to more efficient and cost effective electric cars.

A prolific contributor to dementia advocacy work in Australia and internationally, Kate Swafter graduated with a Master of Science in Dementia as she continues her personal battle with an early onset variety of the disease.

High achievers in the business and creative worlds were also honoured.

Director at Westpac Banking Corporation Michael Blazic received a Doctor of Business Administration, while the CEO of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Lynne Williams was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters.