The University of Newcastle’s April graduation ceremonies will continue this week with ceremonies for the Faculty of Science and Information Technology on Friday 12 April and the Faculty of Business and Law on Saturday 13 April.
More than 1,900 students graduated across eight ceremonies at the University’s Callaghan campus last week. A further 900 students will cross the stage in the Great Hall this Friday and Saturday over four ceremonies.
► Friday 12 April
10am: FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Occasional speaker: Professor Mary O'Kane
Professor Mary O'Kane is the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, a position she has held since 2008. She is also a company director and Executive Chairman of Mary O’Kane & Associates, a company that advises government, universities and the private sector on innovation, research, education and development.
As NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor O'Kane works with academia, industry and government to ensure scientific knowledge and research is adapted and used to benefit NSW. A key responsibility of this role is to provide the government and community with the best quality advice on policy requiring scientific and engineering input.
Read Professor O’Kane’s full bio.
Graduate profile: Lawn-mowing to post-graduate research: Ryan sets sights on academic career
Former horticulturalist Ryan Jones never dreamed that university study would grow his love for the natural world and education – but that’s exactly what happened.
Ryan admits that during high school he wasn’t the ‘world’s best student’ and was never interested in university study.
However, after getting his hands dirty as a horticulturalist, Ryan’s interest in the natural environment and sustainability began grow. So he swapped the wheelbarrow and rake for books and a laptop and began his Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management.
“After working for five years as a horticulturalist, I developed a real interest in native gardens and ecological restoration. I experienced first-hand how the decisions people make directly affect the natural world where we live and my studies helped me understand how to manage the changing environment.”
Ryan Jones is currently undertaking his PhD in human geography and is focusing his studies on the relationships between people and their environment. He hopes to one day share his knowledge with others.
"I started as a disinterested student and, in the last 10 years, I have worked my way from the ride-on mower to post-graduate research. I now have my sights set on the academic world - I would love to lecture in this subject area one day," he said.
“It’s amazing to think that I was never interested in school, and now I am graduating with first class honours and doing my PhD. I guess that’s what happens when you discover your passion.”
Ryan Jones will graduate with a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management with first class honours, at the Science and Information Technology ceremony at 10am on Friday 12 April.
Graduate profile: Global lesson sparks career passion
For Nathalie Gentle, returning to university study after raising a family was not just a step out of her comfort zone – it was a life-changing jump.
The mother-of-three, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Development Studies, said her studies into urban and regional development and socio-economic policy helped her ‘make sense of the world’.
“During my first Human Geography course at university, something switched on inside of me. My eyes were opened to global inequities, such as poverty in developing countries, and as development practitioners how we could go about addressing the major issues.”
Nathalie, who is now completing her honours, said her studies were a huge family effort.
“Deciding to enrol in University was a big decision for my family and I to make – it was a huge commitment and I relied heavily on my husband to handle a lot of the household stress while I was off studying,” she said.
“It’s been hard work but incredibly satisfying. I feel I have now gained the skills that go beyond a degree – my confidence has tripled and I feel like I can tackle anything.”
Nathalie Gentle will graduate with a Bachelor of Developmental Studies at the Science and Information Technology ceremony at 10am on Friday 12 April.
2pm: FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Occasional Speaker: Mr Jeff Julian
Mr Jeff Julian is a highly regarded designer and art director with a string of Hollywood movies and award-winning advertisements for global clients to his name. He has worked as a designer for high-profile clients including Apple, American Express, Adidas, Audi, Nike, BMW, Gucci, Rolls Royce, Nokia, Oakley and Siemens.
Mr Julian’s work with Steven Spielberg on the 2002 film The Minority Report propelled him into work with Hollywoods 'A-List' including Ridley Scott, David Fincher, Brian Singer, Warner Brothers Studios, Dreamworks, Digital Domain, Paramount Studios, Universal and Sony.
Read Mr Julian’s full bio.
► Saturday 13 April
10am: FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND LAW
Occasional Speaker: Glen Unicomb
Glen Unicomb is an investigation specialist who has directed some of Australia’s highest profile corporate investigations in his 30-year career. Highly regarded in the Australian regulatory investigation market, Mr Unicomb is a senior advisor in the forensics practice of international advisory firm KordaMentha.
During a 20-year career with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission - Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator - Mr Unicomb investigated breaches of the Corporations Act and the Crimes Act, failure of risk management frameworks, corrupt payments and bribes, fraud and misconduct, governance breaches and suspicious transactions.
Read Mr Unicomb’s full bio.
2pm: FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND LAW
Occasional Speaker: Justice Stephen Gageler
Justice Stephen Gageler is a Justice of the High Court of Australia. Born and raised in the Upper Hunter town of Sandy Hollow, he has risen through the judicial ranks to become one of Australia’s most eminent barristers, a highly respected member of the New South Wales Bar, and a respected legal adviser at the highest levels.
In 2008 he was appointed Solicitor-General of Australia, advising the Government and appearing as counsel in significant cases including the ‘Malaysia solution’ and the cigarette plain packaging laws.
Justice Gageler’s appointment as a Justice of the High Court of Australia was announced in August 2012 and he commenced his role in October the same year.
Read Justice Gageler’s full bio.
Graduate profile: Second degree earns Emma a second University medal
When University of Newcastle law graduate Emma Goodwin dons the cap and gown this Saturday, she will graduate with the Faculty of Business and Law’s highest accolade - the University Medal.
Ms Goodwin completed Bachelor of Laws degree in 2012 and this will be her second University Medal in as many years.
In 2010, Ms Goodwin completed her first undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in American history relating to the Cold War and civil rights campaign. She was awarded the University Medal then for her dedication and stellar academic record.
Since completing her studies last year, Ms Goodwin has relocated to Canberra to undertake a two-year graduate program with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has her sights on a diplomatic career.
“When I finish the program I could expect to compete for an overseas placement working in an Australian embassy somewhere,” Ms Goodwin said.
“We do a rotation of all the different areas within the Department and have a chance to explore what our speciality will be.”
The 24-year-old Novocastrian credits her law studies in providing her with a well-rounded education.
“I finished law to give myself good general education and it definitely helps in my current job,” she said.
“Studying law really fine-tunes your analytical skills.”
Emma Goodwin will graduate at the 2pm Faculty of Business and Law ceremony on Saturday 13 April.
Media contact: Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations, on 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038 477.