Cheers to the Class of 2013

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Students  say goodbye to textbooks this week as they prepare to graduate.

By Judith Aisthorpe

Almost 1000 James Cook University students said goodbye to university at graduation ceremonies held at the Townsville Entertainment Centre this week.

Two ceremonies were held in Townsville to recognise the hard work and dedication students had put into finishing their degree.

Ceremonies and Events Manager, Roger Yeldham says the graduation ceremony is important for students to be formally acknowledged for their hard work in obtaining their degree.

“It [graduation] is an opportunity for students to celebrate with family, friends and university staff on the successful completion of their studies,” Roger says.

Bachelor of Civil Engineering graduate Jacob Riella was one of 188 students graduating from the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences on Tuesday.

The former president of the Engineering Undergraduate Society is excited to be graduating and has already secured work.

Happy student: Graduate of Engineering Jacob Riella

Happy student: Graduate of Engineering Jacob Riella  Image: Jacob Riella

“Right now I’m working as a project engineer for Auzscot Civil who are a small civil contracting company, specialising in pipe work, earth works and concreting,” Jacob says.

Wednesday night saw 461 students from the Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Law, Business and Creative Arts process across the stage.

Rebekah Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Multimedia Journalism and is tipped to get several academic awards.

“I believe I am getting two awards, which is really exciting and surprising,” Rebekah says.

Celebration: Graduating Multimedia Journalism students Laura McKee (left) and Rebekah Smith (right)

Celebration: Graduating Multimedia Journalism students Laura McKee (left) and Rebekah Smith (right) Image: Laura McKee

“One is the Jill Wells Memorial Prize for the best overall grade and the other is one given to the students with the highest marks in both of the radio subjects.”

The high achiever is now working at the Gladstone Observer where she has been testing her skills and learning new ones.

“It is really great and a lot of things I learnt at uni are being reinforced through working there, as well as learning totally different things that you can’t learn in a classroom,” Rebekah says.

“I have been given the health and indigenous issues rounds which is really interesting.

“I have met some really cool and inspirational people already that I think will stay with me for years to come.”

An Honours graduate Sharon Bosnjak also graduated on Wednesday with a Bachelor of Social Work.

Sharon says the struggles of study were worth it to graduate with Honours where she focused on the challenges of coping with chronic illnesses.

“I chose to do my research on Type 1 Diabetes because of the rising epic proportions of diabetics within our community,” Sharon says.

“I wanted to use my research skills to develop an in-depth understanding of what it was really like living with Type 1 Diabetes.”

The mother of three hopes her dedication will inspire her daughters and other indigenous people to achieve their goals.

“I feel so proud because I have achieved something that seemed impossible five years ago and graduating will hopefully provide my daughters with hope for their future,” she says.

Students in Cairns will be graduating in a combined faculty ceremony next week on the 26th March.