A group of students celebrate their graduations by throwing their blue hats into the air. Photo: Paul Jones

Student achievements shine in spring graduations

Student achievements shine in spring graduations

UOW to award more than 1,000 degrees, four Honorary Doctorates and five Emeritus Professorships

More than a thousand students from all disciplines will celebrate the end of their studies this week as the University of Wollongong (UOW) holds its biannual graduation ceremonies.

Over two days (Tuesday 31 October and Wednesday 1 November), students from all four faculties – Business and Law; Engineering and Information Sciences; the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; and Science, Medicine and Health – will don their caps and gowns to mark the end of  their time at UOW.

They will be joined by family, friends, and members of UOW’s academic community, with the event to be held in the Sports Hub at UOW’s Wollongong Campus.

The graduation ceremonies will bring together ancient Indigenous practices and European graduation traditions, in acknowledgement that UOW’s campuses are located across several Aboriginal nations.

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson said graduation was a wonderful time to reflect on how hard students have worked and how far they have come.

“I love graduation. It is a happy, poignant time for the University. Seeing our graduates off into the world, celebrating their success, their hard work, and their accomplishments, is a moment of immense pride for the entire University community,” Professor Davidson said.

“Congratulations to all our graduates. We wish you the very best as you venture into the world and are thrilled to have you as a vital part of our global alumni community.”

In the spotlight this week will be UOW’s remarkable students, who have made an immense contribution to the University and to the community as a whole.

Zinah Hasan will graduate with a Bachelor of International Studies, majoring in Spanish. At the age of three years old, Zinah, along with her family, left her native Iraq for neighbouring Syria in the hopes of forging a better, and safer, life. But seven years later, conflict would come to Syria and the family would again relocate, this time to Australia in 2013. A strong advocate for helping other young refugees, Zinah is also an emerging soccer star in Wollongong, encouraging other women to purse their passions for sport.   

During the graduation ceremonies, the University will also bestow four Honorary Doctorates and five Emeritus Professorships.

Aunty Joyce Donovan, an Indigenous Elder and powerful social justice advocate, will receive a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, for her lifelong commitment to empowering First Nations Australians and the wider community to create a better, more equitable future for all.

Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at the University of Queensland, will be honoured with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, for her work in improving the lives and futures of First Nations people.

Dr Robert Moses OAM, a renowned researcher and practitioner in the field of diabetes care, will receive a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his contribution to medicine, academia, and the community. 

Professor Joe Chicharo OM, former Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at UOW, is set to receive the dual awards of a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, and Emeritus Professor.

Four exceptional UOW academics will also be recognised with Emeritus Professorships, which acknowledge outstanding achievements, service, and contributions: