Stepping into the future: Celebrating mid-year graduations at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
Within the beautiful ambience of Lewellyn Hall, students from the Australian National University (ANU) donned their gowns and caps for midyear graduation ceremonies, receiving their Testamur and celebrating the completion of their rewarding studies.
Taking place across three days in July, the midyear graduation ceremonies recognised the hard work, perseverance, and remarkable accomplishments of ANU students, including those from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.
Addressing the graduates, Professor Helen Sullivan, College Dean, commended their hard work and perseverance, saying, "We are incredibly proud of your achievements during your time with us." Helen acknowledged the students' determination throughout challenging times, adding, "Studying is never easy, and the past few years have been particularly tough. Yet, you have overcome it all and accomplished extraordinary things."
A noteworthy number of around 210 students successfully completed their academic journey at the College, honing invaluable skills that are directly relevant to their present occupations or have the potential to enhance their future career opportunities.
"What I have learned from ANU is very practical," said Naomi Hartanto, who came to ANU from Jakarta, Indonesia, and graduated with a Master of Public Policy. Naomi undertook studies with the College to facilitate a career change from accounting to her passion for global development, specifically gender policy. "The lecturers are very knowledgeable. What I learned here feeds directly into what I want to do to help develop Indonesia. It will help me make a meaningful impact and create positive change."
For Adubi Plange, who graduated with a Master of Climate Change, her degree feeds directly into her current employment working for the University of Sydney. She hopes to eventually work in disaster risk reduction and management, specifically in the coexistence of indigenous knowledge with Western knowledge.
"I am working on understanding the basis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, and then will hopefully move on to focusing on indigenous Fijian knowledge, which is where my family is from. That is why I did the degree with ANU. So many of my lecturers worked in climate change negotiations in the Pacific Islands. It was incredible to learn from all of them. I feel really grateful for all the knowledge that has been drilled into my brain."
Many families supported students at the College’s ceremony, witnessing their success and celebrating the results of their worthwhile endeavours.
"My whole family came, a big bunch of us," said Adubi. "They are very proud."
For many, reaching the end of a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree signifies the culmination of a significant chapter in their lives before they embark on the next step in their personal growth and career journeys. It can be an emotional, satisfying, and exciting time.
"To be honest, it feels bittersweet," said Naomi. "Studying gave me more exposure to important things. I learned a lot - I have always been curious about many things."
For others, more study is yet to come.
"I am probably going to do a PhD," said Adubi. "But I am still so happy to graduate now and there are multiple dinners planned this weekend."
Reflecting on their experience, these graduates wholeheartedly endorse the decision to pursue their degrees at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.
"The College is fantastic," said Adubi. "All the lecturers are incredible and have so much experience that you can learn from. Learn as much as you can from them, and go to the symposiums to meet researchers and other students."
"I definitely recommend studying at the College, specifically the Crawford School of Public Policy," said Naomi. "It is a very nice School. It is cheesy, but work hard play hard. Get your grades, but don't forget to live a little."
The College would like to congratulate the extraordinary achievements of all our students in completing their studies and achieving this graduation milestone. Witnessing your dedication and enthusiasm within our study halls has been a pleasure. We wish you all the best as you embark on your future endeavours.