Fri, 11 Nov 2022
Categories: Students, Events.
On 25 October, over 240 students from more than 40 countries graduated from James Cook University Brisbane. Our students were acknowledged for their academic achievements alongside JCUB’s academic and professional staff that have been there every step of the way with the graduating students.
Throughout the graduation ceremony, attendees heard from Chancellor Bill Tweddell, Managing Director and Founder of the Sarina Russo Group Sarina Russo, graduating student Alibek Saipan and Vice Chancellor and President Simon Biggs. The graduating students achieved success in a range of disciplines across Graduate Certificates to Bachelor’s degrees to Master’s degrees.
Chancellor Bill Tweddell opened the ceremony and spoke about how the graduating students weathered one of the hardest storms that has faced our world. He recognised the family, friends and other supports that surrounded the students whether close by or far away. He ended his speech with the Babe Ruth quote – “don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” and encouraged the students to be unafraid of risks or mistakes as they move into the next chapters of their lives.
The graduating students then crossed the stage to receive their degrees from the Chancellor before hearing from the Managing Director and Founder of the Sarina Russo Group. Sarina spoke about her 43 years of entrepreneurship and supporting individuals to secure their future and careers. She congratulated the students on taking the initiative to secure their own futures in such a turbulent time at a university that is constantly being recognised. Within the last year, JCUB has been recognised as a leader in sustainability and environmental issues and was recently named #1 in Queensland for full-time employment outcomes and starting salaries. Sarina touched on some hints to help the students in their next phase of life – staying healthy, always be self-empowering and believe in yourself, feel free of your mind and liberate yourself and just start somewhere – never forget that it only matters where you arrive.
The graduate address came from Alibek Saipen who detailed what it was like to be a student in JCUB during the pandemic. He spoke on how he arrived in Australia in 2019 and started to meet people from all over the world – then flash forward a few months and he was stuck in his home, taking classes online. He spoke of the challenges of choosing to stay in Australia when many made the decision to return back to their home country and how the mentality – when something bad happens, you have three choices; let it define you, let it destroy or let it make you stronger – got him through difficult times. He gave thanks to family and friends supporting from near and afar and to the JCUB academic and administrative staff. He ended his speech with a quote from his mentor that he will continue to carry with him – in order to succeed today, you need to learn to thrive in the chaos.
To close out the graduation ceremony, Vice Chancellor and President Simon Biggs spoke about his excitement at attending his first JCU Brisbane graduation since becoming Vice Chancellor and how happy he was to be involved with a world class university that is so dedicated to a brighter future for the Australian community and beyond. He spoke on how people aren’t born with resilience, they are put in situations where they must learn it. He told a story about JCUB alumni Michael Croaker remembering his “why” and reigniting his passion for his work after difficult times following the pandemic. The Vice Chancellor encouraged the graduating students to keep training their resilience and to find tools like developing good habits, remembering your “why” and continuing to be a life-long learner that would support them through their careers.
If you would like to watch the JCU Brisbane graduation ceremony in full, check out our video on YouTube. Congratulations and good luck to our graduating students – the future is looking bright!