Saturday, 8 September 2012

Celebration week!

This has been a week of celebrations starting with my son´s birthday on the 4th of September, my husband´s on the 5th, and then a very important event on the 6th which was my son´s Graduation ceremony.

The ceremony was held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and attended by the graduates and their families. When we arrived the foyer was already teeming with students and families in an excited mood, taking photos, talking, students talking to colleagues...
Before the ceremony in the foyer of the Convention centre
After the graduates were called to take their allocated seats, the guests were ushered in and the ceremony started just after 7pm., with the entrance of the academic procession of university dignitaries wearing traditional academic dress, who took their seats on the stage. We were all requested to stand and the National Anthem was sung by a Soprano, and the Vice-Chancellor opened the proceedings with a speech.
The Graduates sitting in the middle of the auditorium and the guests are starting to take their seats

A soprano sings the National Anthem
The graduates waiting to be called onto the stage
Then the Chancellor was called, and row upon row of students in their scarlet gowns with hoods edged in different colours according to the graduate´s degree colour - violet for law degrees, green for science degrees, blue for art degrees, pink for Masters...were called onto the stage, their name was announced and their diploma was handed to them by the Chancellor.
The various faculties of Bachelor students were first, then the Masters, and the few last ones were the Doctors of Phylosophy (Phd), who then took their place on the stage, sitting beside the other Professors who represented each of the University´s faculties.
Walking on stage towards the Chancellor
The Deputy Vice-chancellor, also made a speech and I was deeply touched and emotional when two diplomas were awarded posthumously to two  students who had died - one a young girl from the Singapore campus, who died without completing her degree but who was an exemplary student with very high marks throughout her degree, and the other an older gentleman who died with cancer, but who even through his chemotherapy continued studying and finished his degree a short while ago. A family member of each student was called to the stage to receive the diploma, and was given a very long and deserving ovation.

Almost at the end of the ceremonies, an honorary degree was granted to Mr Sydney Corser (AM OBE CitWA) (AM - member of the Order of Australia,OBE - Order of the British Empire, citWA - Western Australian citizen of the year), a man with a most fascinating life history.
Sydney finished his schooling in 10th grade, started his working career at the age of 17 as a carpenter, later became a successful businessman first as a builder, then as a residential property developer. He was instrumental in implementing the use of the concrete slab in the building of housing in Perth.
He decided to further his studies and graduated from university at the age of 55. He has been a very active member of various Board of Directors in private and public companies, as well as being a very active sailor from the age of 17, having won various championships.
Now, at the age of 82 he is less involved, but still enjoys mentoring those in need of support and advice, and he urged the graduates to find a mentor to help them in their future life.
He quoted a very interesting phrase: "You can see further if you stand on the shoulders of a wise person". True indeed!!

Mr Sydney Corser making his acceptance speech
The ceremony came to a close with hundreds of balloons dropping into the central rows where the graduates were sitting, to the applause of the audience.

They were then asked to exit row by row into the foyer where coffee, tea and biscuits were laid out for students and guests.
It was time for more photos with the diploma this time, hand in the hired gown and then we went to dinner to an overpriced Chinese restaurant near the Swan Bells Tower, to celebrate this wonderful occasion. Michael was very proud of his achievement, and although he is already working in his field of study it was the culmination of the recognition of his efforts, and we as parents were very proud to be able to participate in this occasion.
Michael holding his B.Sc. diploma


  1. Congratulations to Michael and to you and your husband. You all must be extremely proud ;)

  2. Thanks Emily, yes we are all so happy that Michael has achieved his dream!

  3. Congratulations, Happy Birthday and wishing you all a wonderful celebration.
    Awesome! :)

  4. many congratulations. What a lovely week.

  5. Que alegria! Parabéns a todos! O caminho nem sempre é facil, mas quando se chega ao final percebemos que valeu a pena ;)

  6. Thanks Lindsay.
    Obrigada Sara.

  7. Congrats to Michael, a proud moment. Before he retired P was a professor at Curtain Uni, they had thier grad nights at Pert Concert Hall where my son and all my nieces and nephews graduated..a very moving experience to see all those wonderful young people about to go out onto the big wide world.

  8. You must be so proud! It seems like the support of parents really helps students, even at Varsity, to complete their studies.

  9. Thanks Lovely Light, I also think that all students from primary to university level do better with some parental support.


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