There are these incredible moments in life when you step out into the world and you just feel different. They usually follow some great shift, some great life accomplishment. They're full of joy, pride and emotion. And they encourage you to reflect on all that's come before and all that will come next. There are the moments that hold you up against the light so that you and all of those close to you can see your determination, your drive and just how far you've come. There are moments you treasure for the rest of your life, you remember little fragments like the clothes you wear, the celebratory food that you ate and the smile they give you and the incredible warmth that you feel. To the graduating class of 2020, this is one of those moments. Look at where you are, how much ground you've covered. Think back to where it all started and all the places since and now all the places you'll go. This year didn't go to plan. Your final year of uni was overshadowed by a global health crisis, instead of spending your lunch breaks in the sun on campus, you were hunkered down in your PJs, working your way through the entire contents of your refrigerator rather than tutorials where you finally knew all of your classmates names, you were taking virtual tours of their lounge rooms. Among all of the up turned plans in the chaos. The adapting and the adjusting this year has been preparing you for life beyond uni. A life with even more compassion, even more determination, and the tools to give back. 2020 has been tough. But you've grown, you've come out stronger and you've made it through. You should feel incredibly proud.
To my fellow students, congratulations. We made it. This moment is well worth celebrating and one to be very proud of. After countless hours of online lectures, tutorials and last minute cramming for exams and assignments, at times. It is time to celebrate, to reflect and to enjoy a sense of satisfaction with what we have achieved. At times it was fun and at times it was incredibly hard. But we persevered and now we have emerged. We have emerged with more knowledge and passion than when we began. Upon graduating, we'll be proud to call ourselves University of Wollongong alumni, joining a 163 thousand others from across hundred and seventy nine different countries. Of course, we will not be here today without all those that have supported us along this incredible journey. To our family and friends, thank you for providing us with abundance of support and encouragement and for all the sacrifices that you've made for us. On behalf of all the graduating students. I also offer my sincere thanks to the university, the lecturers, tutors, support staff, Echo 360 and everyone in between. Thank you for igniting the passion in us to learn. To my fellow students. We are incredibly fortunate to receive a tertiary education that so many around the world can only dream of. With this must come some responsibilities. As a global community, we face tremendous and unprecedented challenges moving into the future. We must all strive to make the world a better place because we are now equipped with the potential to do so. I look forward to seeing all the differences that you will make, and I now leave you with the words of the great Nelson Mandela. I have taken a moment to rest here, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance that I've come. But I can only rest for a moment. But with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger for my long walk is not ended. Thank you all very much.