Congratulations - the day is almost 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
Preparing for your graduation
- Travel, location and parking
- What to bring on the day
- What to wear and academic dress
- When to arrive
- Guests and guest tickets
- Graduates or guests with a disability or special requirement
- Photography and memorabilia
Your graduation ceremony will be held in the Sports Hub (Building 9) at the Wollongong campus.
Travel and parking
There may be traffic and parking delays around the University, so please allow additional travel time.
Free parking is available for graduating students in P5 and P4 carparks on campus.
We encourage you 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.
If you submitted accessibility requirements for both yourself and/ or your guests during the registration process, parking will be made available to you in the carpark under the Sports Hub – you will need to provide your name to the parking attendant at the Sports Hub carpark to gain access.
You will be required to bring identification (eg. drivers licence, student card) which will be sighted at the registration desk.
If you already have a graduation hat (trencher or bonnet), please also bring it with you on the day.
A graduation ceremony is a formal occasion with smart casual wear being the minimum standard for graduates and their guests.
You will be required to wear the approved University of Wollongong academic dress over your clothes 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 to keep.
When selecting what you're going to wear, 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.
Purchasing academic dress
If you wish to purchase academic dress for graduation, you 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.
If you purchase your academic dress you will 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 full graduation fee.
Graduates to arrive by 8:15am
- Registration opens at 7.30am and closes at 9am sharp
- Doors will open for guests at 9am
- Ceremony commences 9:30am
Late arrivals may not be able to be accommodated.
Graduates to arrive by 1:15pm
- Registration opens at 12.30pm and closes at 2pm sharp
- Doors will open for guests at 2pm
- Ceremony commences 2:30pm
You will be allocated guest tickets which you will receive at the registration desk on the day of your ceremony. We will endeavour to provide as many guest tickets as possible. This will be dependent on the size of the ceremony and number of graduates. Please check the email sent on Friday 31 March to see your ticket allocation.
Children and prams
We understand what an important milestone Graduation is for families. Children are warmly welcome to attend your ceremony and will require a ticket. Infants (under 3) can sit on an adult's lap during the ceremony.
Designated pram/stroller parking bays will be available within the Sports Hub. Activities will also be available for children outside of the Sports Hub in the Marquee.
Unfortunately we can not provide more that the allocated number of tickets per graduate - no additional tickets will be available. Any additional guests are invited to watch the ceremony via live stream in the Marquee outside of the Sports Hub, or from a location off campus. The link to the live stream will be posted on the graduation website on the day of the event.
We are more than happy to accommodate special seating requirements, or any mobility or disability issues, including vision or hearing needs.
If you did not advise of any special requirements during the online registration for graduation, please email details to email@example.com with ‘Graduation’ in the subject line 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. 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.
Bookings are recommended - pre-book your studio session for free today ($30 on the day).
Studio photography will be setup within UniActive (building 13) next to the Sports Hub.
All graduates will be photographed on stage and Reed Graduation Services understands the importance of capturing this momentous moment. For pre-event discounts visit Reed Graduation Services.
Stage images will be available immediately after the ceremony for viewing and purchase within UniActive (building 13) next to the Sports Hub.
Reed Graduation Services offer a wide variety of frame options which are perfect to proudly display your 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 visit 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 visit Reed Graduation Services.
On the day - before the ceremony
- Where to go when you arrive - graduate registration
- Finding your seat
- COVID Safe protocols
- What to do if you arrive late
You must arrive by the specified time.
On arrival, please make your 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 wait outside and do not accompany you to the registration desk – we suggest arranging to meet your guests outside the Sports Hub after completing registration.
When you arrive at registration you will:
- receive your program booklet, which will be marked with your name and allocated seat number
- receive your guest tickets
- get dressed in your academic dress
- receive your trencher (hat) or bonnet (PhD graduates only)
UOW staff will select the appropriate academic dress foryou and help your put the garments on. If you are an Honours graduate, please advise staff.
Once dressed and ready, your can meet your guests and take photos before the ceremony begins.
You will receive your program booklet at registration. This will be marked with your name and allocated seat number.
You must be seated in your allocated seat at least 20 minutes before the ceremony (unless you are told otherwise during registration).
It is essential that you sit in your 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.
Guest seating is not allocated but is separate from graduate seating.
If you are a PhD graduate, once you have registered and are gowned in your academic dress, please make your way to Building 36 Room 305 where you will join the Academic Procession for the ceremony before walking down to the Sports Hub.
Guests of PhD graduates should find their seats in the Sports Hub and are not to go to Building 36.
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
- Wearing of face masks is optional
- 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 not compulsory, however NSW Health strongly recommends you wear a face mask if it is hard to maintain safe physical distance from others.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, NSW Health recommends you 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you can no longer make your ceremony on the day.
It is highly recommended that you arrive at the University with plenty of time to find parking, register, dress in academic dress, and take photos.
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, but it is not guaranteed that you will be able to participate in the ceremony.
You will be required to wait in the registration area until the Academic Procession has been seated on stage at the commencement of the event. You will then be ushered to the Sports Hub to take your seats, and your name will be read out at the end of the ceremony.
Please note that if you arrive late and we are unable to accommodate you within the ceremony, you will not be offered a refund.
During and after the ceremony
- Ceremony proceedings
- Presentation of awards
- Stage photography
- Live streaming
- Returning your academic dress
The official proceedings of 2023 UOW Graduation Ceremonies includes:
- Opening of Ceremony, including Smoking Ceremony
- Welcome to Country
- National Anthem
- Opening and Congratulatory Address
- Presentation of Awards
- Musical Interlude
- Presentation of Awards (cont)
- Honorary Award/Emeritus Professorships Awards
- Occasional Address and Vote of Thanks
- Closure of Proceedings
- Showing of UOW Graduation video
- Event Concludes
Ceremonies are expected to be 2-2.5 hours in duration.
Ushers will direct graduates throughout the ceremony. When it is time to commence the presentation of awards, ushers will direct graduates as follows:
- The Presenter will ask all graduates to stand for confirmation of degrees. After this, everyone can be seated except the first row of graduates who will then be guided by ushers to the stage.
- When it is your turn to make your way to the stage an usher will ask you to stand and will direct you into position. Leave your booklets and other items on your seat.
- An usher will check and adjust your academic dress.
- 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. Please pause on stage while a photo is taken.
- After the photo, you can begin descending the ramp on the other side of the stage.
- You will then make your way back to your allocated seat and remain there until the end of the ceremony.
- At the completion of the ceremony, you will be directed to follow behind the Academic Procession and leave the venue.
This information will also be provided to you again, upon registration on the day of your ceremony.
Please ensure you pause on stage for our professional photographer to take your photo after you have 'tipped your cap' to the Presiding Officer.
Stage photos will be available immediately after the ceremony for viewing and purchase in UniActive near the registration desk (building 13). If you would like to view and/or purchase your stage photos at a later time, a link will be available on the UOW website once all ceremonies are complete.
All ceremonies will be live streamed. A link will be available on the graduation website on the day of the ceremony.
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
If your graduation gown is not returned by these times, you will be contacted by the graduation team and invoiced for the full cost of replacement.