A group of students celebrate their graduations. Photo: Paul Jones

Summer graduations highlight inspiring student achievements

Summer graduations highlight inspiring student achievements

UOW to award posthumous Honorary Doctorate to the late Tim Fischer during ceremonies

Hundreds of students will celebrate the end of their studies this week (Tuesday 17 December to Thursday 19 December) when the University of Wollongong holds its summer graduation ceremonies.

There will be five ceremonies held across two days, bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, and the Faculty of Business.

The graduates will celebrate their research and academic achievements in a range of fields, including engineering, commerce, accounting, physics, mathematics, and computer science.

Held at UOW’s University Hall, the summer ceremonies are the final of four graduation events held throughout the year.

The late Tim Fischer AC, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, will be recognised with an Honorary Doctor of Letters during Thursday’s ceremony. The posthumous honour will highlight the immense contribution Mr Fischer made to Australian life, including his fight for gun reform laws and his dedication to regional and remote communities.

Mr Fischer passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. His wife, Judy Brewer AO, will be at the ceremony to receive the doctorate on his behalf.

On Tuesday, the University will also honour Elizabeth Proust AO, Non-executive Director of Lendlease. Ms Proust has built an impressive career in the business world over the past 30 years, and has held leadership roles in the government and private sector.

Ms Proust will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters for her contribution to gender equality and her ongoing support of women in business.

Graduation will be particularly significant for two outstanding undergraduate students this week.

Fadi Thabet will receive his Bachelor of Engineering (Telecommunications Engineering), nearly four years after he arrived in Australia. The last six years have been incredibly tumultuous for Fadi, who fled Mosul, in northern Iraq, in mid 2014, after the city fell to Islamic State.

Fadi and his family fled to Jordan with little more than the clothes on their back. In 2016, they received a visa to Australia, which Fadi said was the greatest gift the family could have received.

The University’s postgraduate research will also be in the spotlight.

Dr Lauren Bell, who is graduated from the School of Physics with a Doctor of Philosophy, has made significant inroads in the delivery of radiation therapy.

Her thesis drew on the expertise of doctors to develop an automatic computer program that outlines regions of cancerous tumours.

Throughout the graduation event, a number of University Medals will also be awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievements.