Media Release

Newsroom Releases 2014 March Graduate upgrades skills with PhD

13/03/2014
Graduate upgrades skills with PhD
A local teacher and professional photographer will graduate as a mature aged student in Townsville next week after completing postgraduate studies in education in tertiary studies and research.

Graduate upgrades skills with PhD

A local teacher and professional photographer will graduate as a mature aged student in Townsville next week after completing postgraduate studies in education in tertiary studies and research.

Dr Robin Gauld will receive a PhD during the James Cook University Faculty of Law, Business and Creative Arts graduation ceremony on Thursday, March 20.

Originally from Melbourne, Dr Gauld moved to Townsville to work in the media then moved back to Melbourne to study photography at RMIT.

Following that, he worked with a large magazine group as an editorial photographer, eventually moving back to Townsville to run a small photography business and to teach photography part-time at JCU.

Dr Gauld completed a graduate certificate of education in tertiary studies and a graduate diploma of research methods. He then began a Masters in research, which was converted into a PhD. The process took about three and a half years.

Dr Gauld said it seemed like a logical step to return to study.

“While I was teaching part-time it seemed like a sensible thing to upgrade my qualifications, one thing led to another and I now have a PhD,” he said.

“I chose James Cook University for my PhD because I had some part-time teaching and tutoring work I also had a good relationship with my supervisor and saw no point in studying elsewhere.”

Dr Gauld said the PhD research was in areas he was familiar with - teaching photography, and the professional photography industry.

“Both these areas were combined into a study which encompassed the new technologies of a digital age,” he said.

Dr Gauld said the PhD was challenging and rewarding, if not exactly enjoyable.

“It is one of those great milestones that can be ticked off in your life,” he said.

“I believe that my research will have benefits to both teaching and learning in the creative sector and to the professional industry.

“A PhD is hard work and it teaches you amongst other things like research skills to be disciplined. Without the discipline these large projects would not be completed.”

While not currently working in teaching or photography, Dr Gauld said he was doing research assistance work but his goal was to find full-time work within the University environment.

Dr Gauld said the graduation was a significant event for him.

“It is a way to celebrate a worthy achievement with your family and friends. I am looking forward to frocking up and donning the floppy hat on Thursday week.”

Friends and family will be there on the day to help him celebrate, he said.

“It would be impossible to complete a PhD without the support of your family and friends,” he said.

“My wife Elizabeth has been very supportive over the years. She has had to endure a lot of my stress and anguish as I relentlessly struggled to complete the research.

“My friends, too have been inspirational, I have some very clever friends and have always been interested in my work and very supportive of it. It is in the end a team effort. It would be impossible to complete a PhD in isolation of family and friends but you have a responsibility to try and make the journey is painless for them as possible.”

Ceremony details:

Faculty of Law, Business and the Creative Arts 2014 Graduation

Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Time: 3pm

JCU Media Liaison: Caroline Kaurila, tel: (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175

First published March 13, 2014