Congratulations - the day is finally here! Many graduates are excited and nervous on the day of their graduation ceremony. To help you get ready, we’ve put together a list of what you can do in preparation, as well as what to expect on the day.
Your graduation day
Update: 22 April
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked through the details surrounding the venue change for your graduation ceremony in May. We can now confirm that May graduation ceremonies will be held in the Sports Hub on the UOW Wollongong campus.
We can confirm that the current schedule of ceremonies will not change, and ceremony dates and times are the same as originally advised.
Registered graduates have been sent an email with more information. The information below has also been updated to reflect the change in venue.
Preparing for your graduation
- What to bring on the day
- What to wear on the day
- Plan your arrival - travel, location and parking
- When to arrive
- Academic dress
- Guest tickets
- Graduates or guests with a disability or special requirement
- Graduation services including photography
Graduates are required to bring identification (eg. drivers licence, student card) which will be sighted at the registration desk.
Any graduates who indicated they already have a graduation hat (trencher or bonnet) is asked to also bring this along on the day.
A graduation ceremony is a formal occasion with smart casual wear being the minimum standard for graduates and their guests.
Please keep in mind:
- The academic gown is three-quarters in length and opens at the front, so your clothes will be visible.
- The gown is made of heavy material, so you may wish to leave your jacket with your family or friends.
- You will be wearing an academic trencher or bonnet on your head so we recommend a hairstyle that allows this to sit comfortably.
- You will be walking onto stage via a ramp, so we recommend that you consider this when selecting your footwear.
- You are welcome to enrich the colour of the ceremony with garments from your cultural tradition.
Your graduation ceremony will be held in the Sports Hub (Building 9) at the Wollongong campus.
Travel and parking
To minimise parking congestion, graduates are encouraged to travel with all their guests in one vehicle. If the P4 and P5 carparks becomes full, security staff will advise you of alternative parking locations on or around campus.
For students who have indicated they have accessibility requirements, parking will be made available to you in the carpark under the Sports Hub – you will have been contacted directly about this.
Please arrive at the university with plenty of time to register, dress in your academic dress, and take photos.
Morning ceremonies (9:30am)
- Registration opens at 7.30am and closes at 9am.
- Graduates are advised to arrive by 8:15am
Doors will open for guests at 9am
Afternoon ceremonies (2:30pm)
- Registration opens at 12.30pm and closes at 2pm.
- Graduates are advised to arrive by 1:15pm
Doors will open for guests at 2pm
Graduates who arrive after the close of registration may not be able to be accommodated.
Graduates are required to wear the approved University of Wollongong academic dress when taking part in a graduation ceremony. The graduation fee covers the hire of your academic dress (gown and hood), as well as a trencher (hat) or bonnet, for graduates to keep.
Purchasing academic dress
Graduates who wish to purchase academic dress for graduation can do so at any time of the year from the Unishop. However, if for any reason a particular item may be out of stock, you must place your order no later than 6 weeks prior to the ceremony. Enquiries regarding the purchase of academic dress may be directed to the Unishop.
For those graduates who choose to purchase academic dress, you will need to collect your purchase from the Unishop prior to your graduation ceremony and bring it with you to the venue.
Please note that if you purchase your academic dress, you are still required to pay the graduation fee.
Graduates have been sent an email with information about guest tickets. Tickets will be available for collection at registration on the day of the ceremony - you are no longer required to pre-book your tickets.
Children requiring a seat during the ceremony will need a ticket. Infants (under 3) can sit on an adult's lap during the ceremony.
Any additional guests are invited to watch the ceremony via live stream.
We are more than happy to accommodate special seating requirements, or any mobility or disability issues, including vision or hearing needs.
Graduates who submitted their accessibility requirements via the online form do not need to submit anything further. The graduation team will be in touch with those students who require accessibly seating.
If any of your guests require accessibility seating, please contact the graduation team via firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so arrangements can be made.
The UniShop has a great range of graduation gifts, flowers, cards and University of Wollongong memorabilia. You can shop online or in-person on the day. The UniShop sell special graduation teddy bears wearing academic dress which are popular amongst our graduates and are a great keepsake.
Reed Graduation Services will have professional photo studio sessions available on the day of your graduation at the WEC. Bring along your friends and family and let skilled photographers capture this wonderful milestone with a range of high quality photos than you can cherish for years to come. Pre-booking via the website is preferred.
If you pre-booked a professional photography session at the WEC, your booking will not change. Reed Photography will be setup within UniActive (building 13) next to the Sports Hub.
It’s the moment every graduate has been waiting for and wants to remember. Reed Graduation Services understands the importance of capturing your momentous moment in time with one of our stage images.
For pre-event discounts contact Reed Graduation Services.
Stage images will be available immediately after the ceremony for viewing and purchase in the WEC foyer.
Reed Graduation Services offer a wide variety of frames and mat options which are perfect to proudly display your certificate award. If you would like to bring your certificate it can be framed by our professional framers on the spot, ready to take home on the day of your graduation. For pre-event specials contact Reed Graduation Services.
Graduation plaques offer a unique way of commemorating your award. Having your certificate replicated onto a silver or gold plaque fitted on to either rich walnut wood base, smooth matte black backing or a clear Perspex base adds professional flair and pleasing appearance to any office or room, allowing you to proudly display your award. For pre-event specials contact Reed Graduation Services.
On arrival - before the ceremony
The safety of our staff, graduates, students and community is paramount. All graduation ceremonies will adhere to Public Health Orders at the time of the ceremonies, and visitors are required to follow to any COVID Safe protocols in place at the venue.
- Hand sanitiser available for use
- QR code check-in optional upon entry
- Wearing of face masks is optional for all graduates and guests
- Guests and graduates are asked to stay home if unwell
- Ventilation in Sports Hub
COVID-19 Vaccination requirements
Visitors to UOW campuses are currently not required to show their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Face masks are required, however NSW Health strongly recommends you wear a face mask if it is hard to maintain safe physical distance from others.
If you are a household or close contact, you are encouraged to avoid large or crowded indoor gatherings and must wear a mask when you are in an indoor setting (unless you are exempt).
Face masks will be available for graduates upon request at the registration desk. All guests attending a graduation ceremony will need to provide their own face mask.
The wearing of face masks is subject to Public Health Orders at the time of the ceremonies and requirements may change.
Graduates with symptoms of COVID-19
We ask that you stay home if you’re feeling unwell or have flu like symptoms, including a cough, sore throat and/or temperature.
Please email email@example.com if you can no longer make your ceremony on the day.
On arrival, graduates are to make their way to the graduation registration desk located on the ground floor in UniActive (Building 13) which is adjacent to the Sports Hub. Entry is via the western side of the UniActive building (closest to the Sports Hub).
To avoid overcrowding, we ask that guests do not accompany graduates to the registration desk – we suggest graduates arrange to meet their guests outside the Sports Hub after completing registration.
At the registration desk graduates will:
- present their identification
- receive their program booklet, which will be marked with their name and allocated seat number
- receive their guest tickets
- get dressed in their academic dress
- receive their trencher (hat) or bonnet (PhD graduates only)
Registration desk opening hours
|Morning ceremony||Afternoon ceremony|
|Registration opens||7.30 am||12.30 pm|
|Registration closes||9 am||2 pm|
|Start time||9.30 am||2.30 pm|
If you arrive after the close of registration, please go directly to the graduate registration desk in UniActive (building 13) and we will do our best to accommodate you, however your name will be read out at the end of the ceremony.
UOW staff will select the appropriate academic dress for each graduate and help put the garments on. If you are an Honours graduate, please advise staff.
Once dressed and ready, graduates can meet their guests and take photos before the ceremony begins.
Graduates must be seated in their allocated seat at least 20 minutes before the ceremony (unless you are told otherwise during registration).
It is essential that graduates sit in their allocated seat as outlined on the program booklet received at registration. This will ensure graduates are presented on stage in the correct order. You must not swap or change your seat to be close to friends.
During and after the ceremony
- Ceremony proceedings
- Live streaming
- Post ceremony celebrations
- Returning your academic dress
Ushers will direct graduates throughout the ceremony process as follows:
- You will be ushered from your seat to the side aisle.
- Ushers will adjust your academic dress as you make your way towards the ramp which leads onto the stage.
- When you reach the bottom of the stage ramp, you will collect your certificate from an usher.
- You will be directed to ascend the ramp and stand on the side of the stage until your name is called.
- When you hear your name, make your way to the centre of the stage towards the Presiding Officer.
- The Presiding Officer will 'tip their cap' to you, and you can return the gesture by tipping your cap slightly downwards with your right hand. A photo will be taken at this moment.
- After the photo, you can begin descending the ramp at the front of the stage.
- You will then make your way back to your allocated seat and remain there until the end of the ceremony.
Graduates with accessibility requirements will be notified at registration if any alternate arrangements are in place for them to access the stage.
We expect each ceremony will go for approximately 2.5 - 3 hours.
A professional photographer will take photographs of you as you 'tip your cap' to the Presiding Officer. Stage images will be available immediately after the ceremony for viewing and purchase in UniActive near the registration desk (building 13).
All ceremonies will be live streamed. A link will be available on the graduation website on the day of the ceremony.
All graduates and guests are invited to join UOW dignitaries for canapés and drinks in the marquee outside the Sports Hub after their ceremony.
It's a good idea to organise a meeting point for you and your guests.
Graduates will be able to take photos at the media walls setup in the marquee as well as around our beautiful campus.
Your academic dress must be returned to the gown returns area near the registration desk in UniActive (building 13) by the following times:
- 1pm for morning ceremonies
- 6pm for afternoon ceremonies
Local dining and accommodation
Below you'll find a list of dining options available to graduates in and around Wollongong. A range of on campus dining options are also available.
- Five Islands Hotel - Special Offer
Lunch and dinner available 7-days a week
The perfect family-friendly dining option, offering 20% off dining (full-priced meals only) to all graduation attendees for the duration of the event. As well as, an unbeatable $15 lunch menu.
(use “Graduate” in the booking comments or call on 02 4201 0668)
- Steamers Bar & Grill - Special Offer
Lunch and dinner available 7-days a week
A contemporary fusion of fresh, innovative and local flavours. All graduates will receive a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival and graduation helium balloons.
(use “Graduate” in the booking comments or call on 02 4229 6895)
- Harbourfront Restaurant
Lunch and dinner 7-days a week
Harbourfront is a Wollongong staple, with amazing waterfront views and an award-winning venue. Harbourfront offers fine dining, locally sourced seafood and must-try seafood platters.
- Bombora Seafood
Open 8am – 4pm 7-days a week
Find stunning harbour views with a relaxed atmosphere and quality seafood. A favourite is the extensive all-day breakfast menu, the salt & pepper prawns or the salted caramel espresso martini.
- Mylan Vietnamese
Lunch & Dinner Monday to Saturday
Mylan is located in the heart of Wollongong, you will be blown away by their authentic dishes and extensive menu at a great price.
- Kneading Ruby
Tuesday to Sunday 5pm - late
A family-run Italian restaurant showcasing authentic Italian food, delicious cocktails and wine. Perfect for large groups.
- His Boy Elroy
11:30am to late 7-days a week
Try the tastiest burgers in town and take your pick from delicious cocktails to craft beers.
- Lagoon Restaurant
Lunch and dinner available 7-days a week
A family-owned beachside restaurant, try a selection of mouth-watering dishes from their award-winning seafood menu.
- Towradgi Beach Hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner available 7-days a week
A great family-friendly venue with a buzzing atmosphere and a range of delicious classics from burgers, schnitzel to fish and chips.
- Cold Water Creek
Breakfast 7 days a week, dinner Tuesday - Sunday
Conveniently located at the Sage Hotel and is open for breakfast all week, and dinners from Tuesday.
- Palisade Kitchen and Bar
7-days a week breakfast, lunch, dinner & drinks
Located in the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the contemporary Australian menu and extensive wine list.
- Steelers Club
Lunch and dinner available 7-days a week
Serving diner-style meals with seasonal produce sourced locally and your favourite beers on tap. Located within the Illawarra Steelers Club, weekly food specials including their delicious 2 for 1 ribs on a Wednesday.
- Lee & Me
Breakfast, lunch and beverages 7 days
Located in a charming old terrace serving specialty coffee and mouth-watering breakfast or lunch.
- Lower East Café
Breakfast and lunch 7 days
A cute and cosy café serving seasonal breakfast and lunch with delicious coffee, beverages, and treats.
Breakfast, lunch and beverages 7 days
Perched on the edge of North Beach serving fresh food and great coffee with coastal vibes. Soak up the ocean breeze with an all-day brunch menu, cocktails and fine wines.
Wollongong offers convenient accommodation options for all budgets from luxury ocean view rooms, comfortable family suits or beachfront cabins. Take your pick:
- Sage Hotel (Special Offer) is centrally located in Wollongong and has extra comfortable rooms. Take your pick from double rooms to family suites. Sage Hotel is offering Members Rates for all guests attending the graduation ceremonies. Contact reservations on 02 4201 2111 or book online.
- Award-winning Novotel Wollongong Northbeach offers stunning ocean views, amazing rooms and plenty of dining options within the hotel. It is also conveniently located on the scenic Bue Mile precinct, close to restaurants, cafes and the CBD.
- Nova Kiama (Special Offer) is a premier boutique hotel, located 30 minutes away from Wollongong. A short walking distance to Kiama’s beaches, great cafes, and shops. Nova is offering a 15% discount on all room types to graduates and attendees.
- Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort has versatile and comfortable self-contained accommodation at affordable prices. Take your pick from a large range of accommodation suitable for families, groups, or couples including holiday apartments, bungalows or cabins. Located in Fairy Meadow next to the beach as well as a 5-minute drive to Wollongong’s CBD.
- Mantra Wollongong Apartments are centrally located in the heart of Wollongong, offering one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments which are perfect for families or groups. Close to public transport, with secure onsite parking and a walk to Wollongong’s stunning beaches.
- Best Western City Sands is located 3km from Wollongong’s City Centre with a variety of room options for couples, families, and groups. There is a restaurant located onsite and it is a short walk to local beaches or popular attractions.