Graduates share their stories

RMIT’s newest graduates celebrated at a graduation ceremony held at Marvel Stadium yesterday.

A record number of graduates from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of experiences across Vocational Education, Higher Education, Higher Degree by research (PhD) and beyond have now joined a global RMIT network of more than 400,000 alumni.

Sisters Madeleine and Nathalie Murray were among the nearly 9,000 graduates.

They shared the day with their 83-year-old grandfather Peter, an RMIT alumnus who completed a Fellowship Diploma in Communications Engineering in 1961.

Peter couldn’t attend his own graduation ceremony because he was working in Papua New Guinea for the Australian army, so making the trip from Canberra to Melbourne for the first time in years to see his granddaughters graduate was extra special. 

Madeleine said she had only learnt her grandfather attended RMIT after she’d started her Bachelor of Industrial Design.

“It’s incredible to be here with someone who had a similar experience, but years and years ago, and share it with him,” she said.

“He chose it (RMIT) years ago and we chose it without knowing he’d gone here and now we’re all here on graduation day.”

RMIT alumnus Peter Murray with graduating granddaughters Madeleine and Nathalie

Nathalie, who graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology and is moving to Canada next year to work and travel, said it was interesting hearing about how the experiences her grandfather had at RMIT and the technology he’d learnt about had evolved over time.  

“We did a similar kind of degree so it’s kind of all come full circle,” she said.

Peter said he was very proud to see his granddaughters attend the same University as him.

“I think it’s wonderful. I just see such excitement in education, always have,” he said.

“You never stop learning. I actually did a subject part-time with RMIT last year by correspondence - an introduction to IT - and it opened up the world of the future for me.” 

The graduation ceremony followed RMIT’s iconic graduation parade, which saw almost 5,000 students in academic dress walk down Swanston Street with family and friends watching on.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp addresses the 2018 graduands before the ceremony

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE, RMIT Chancellor Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, RMIT staff and City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp were familiar faces in the busy crowd.

The Vice-Chancellor said graduation was the launching pad for graduates entering a brave new world and reiterated the importance of staying connected with other RMIT alumni.

“We’re proud to have provided our students with the confidence, knowledge, skills and connections they need to succeed in an ever-changing world,” he said.

“Our graduates are diverse and span the globe, living and working in more than 130 countries – that is an invaluable network to be a part of.”

Bachelor of Computer Science graduate Jacqui Shadforth is starting work as a graduate software developer at RMIT industry partner REA Group (realestate.com.au) next year. She was always interested in technology and computers, but it took a Bachelor of Design to lead her to her eventual career.

She said RMIT had taught her how to learn – not just what to learn, acknowledging that her learning wouldn’t stop once she left University.

“I feel confident that I could pick up a new programming language or concept because what I’ve learnt during my computer science degree has laid a strong foundation,” she said.

“Throughout my degree, I’ve been looking at and learning cutting-edge technology that industry is using.”

Graduate Jacqui Shadforth said she looked forward to entering the workforce but would never stop learning

Bachelor of Business graduate Omar Al Kassab came to Australia in 2014 after fleeing Syria as a refugee. He’d previously started an engineering degree and a pharmacology degree overseas.

“Education has always been one of the most important things in my life and being at RMIT is an important chapter,” he said.

“Now I’m proud to graduate.”

Omar will begin work as a management consultant at RMIT industry partner Deloitte in 2019, helping companies adapt to the changing world of work. 

“There were lots of things going on at RMIT outside of classes. You would go to workshops, learn about blockchain, new technology and that’s been really helpful for me to get a job,” he said. 

Omar Al Kassab will soon be helping organisations adapt to the changing world of work, when he kick-starts his career with Deloitte next year

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Director Tony Ellwood AM was presented with an Honorary Doctorate at the graduation ceremony.

Ellwood received a Doctor of Arts honoris causa in recognition of his leadership in the Australian arts sector. 

 

Story: Amelia Harris

13 December 2018

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13 December 2018

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