Top students shine bright in graduation spotlight

Top students shine bright in graduation spotlight

Louise Sauvage, Craig Foster and Geoff Morrell to receive Honorary Doctorates

Thousands of students will mark the end of their academic journeys this week as the University of Wollongong (UOW) holds its autumn graduation celebrations.

Over three days, beginning on Tuesday (16-18 April), the University will recognise the immense achievements of its students from all four faculties – Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; Business and Law; Engineering and Information Sciences; and Science, Medicine and Health.

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

The University will bestow three Honorary Doctorates during the ceremonies to:

  • Craig Foster AM, sports commentator and human rights activist, Doctor of Laws
  • Louise Sauvage OAM, renowned Paralympian and coach, Doctor of Letters
  • Geoff Morrell, actor and UOW graduate, Doctor of Letters

Professor Jenny Beck, a renowned researcher from Molecular Horizons, will be awarded an Emeritus Professorship, while Kay Kent, a UOW staff member of more than 30 years who left an indelible mark on the lives of many students, will be named a University Fellow.

Craig Foster, Geoff Morrell, Louise Sauvage, and Professor Jenny Beck will all deliver the Occasional Address at their respective ceremonies, with Gerry Swiegers, Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Hysata, and Margot Mains, Chief Executive of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District also featuring as guest speakers.

The University’s remarkable students will be in the spotlight during the week of celebrations.

Kiarn Roughley, originally from Manyana on the NSW South Coast, will mark the end of his second degree at UOW, with a Bachelor of Science (Honours). The winner of the University Medal for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, Kiarn was inspired to undertake his degrees by his own experiences with cancer as a teenager.

Dr Kimberley Livingstone, a lecturer in the School of Nursing and PhD candidate at UOW, will be awarded a posthumous Doctor of Philosophy, with her husband and daughter accepting on her behalf. Dr Livingstone, who was based at UOW Sutherland, passed away in January after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.

There will also be two recipients of the Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize, which is awarded to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic performance, outstanding leadership, and a significant contribution to the University and wider community. Jacob May, the 2022 recipient, who achieved a double degree Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, and Jackson Cocks, the 2023 recipient with a double degree Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Laws, will both be honoured during their respective graduation ceremonies.

The autumn graduation ceremonies will feature the highest number of Indigenous graduates ever for the University, at 2.5 per cent of the graduating cohort.

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

“We extend a warm welcome to the families and friends of our graduating students as we prepare to celebrate this momentous occasion. Graduation fills us with immense pride as we honour the dedication and perseverance of our students. It's a joyous event that marks the culmination of their hard work and determination.

“As we bid farewell to our graduates and witness their transition into the world, we take pride in celebrating their successes and achievements. Celebrating their hard work is a moment of immense pride for the entire university community.”