Commonwealth Games boss inspires the largest cohort of graduates ever at a Melbourne ceremony

Published 4 October 2022
Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games Australia Craig Phillips AM at Southern Cross Melbourne graduation ceremony

It was a remarkable milestone for Southern Cross University, graduates, families and friends who celebrated the event in the Victorian capital.

Across two ceremonies, around 315 local and international graduands were conferred their awards on Saturday October 1– the largest cohort to attend a Southern Cross Melbourne event and the first in-person in three years.

Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games Australia Craig Phillips AM, who is a Southern Cross alumnus, delivered an occasional address. 

“I have spent most of my working life involved in Olympic and now Commonwealth Games teams – from Barcelona in 1992 until Birmingham in 2022. So, it will probably come as no surprise that being part of teams is something that I have cherished about my career,” said Mr Phillips.

“In my experience there is nothing better than being part of an effective team in action. Individuals – often from disparate backgrounds – who all possess different skillsets and experience harnessing their collective power. 

“There is nothing better than working alongside people who are committed to solving problems that appear to be unsolvable. To overcome challenges that seem to be insurmountable,” Mr Phillips added. 

Craig Phillips completed the Master of Business Administration at Southern Cross University in 1999.

Mr Phillips closed his speech with these inspiring words: “I have been very fortunate throughout my career that I have had jobs that I have loved, though, I must confess there have been days here and there where it has felt like I was working. My advice to you is this. Seek out opportunities which you find interesting and inspiring. Seek out opportunities which you are passionate about. And the days in your life that feel like work will be few and far between. Congratulations on what you have achieved and good luck with wherever your journey will take you from here.”

The names behind the numbers

More than 60 of the graduates are from The Hotel School, a unique partnership between Southern Cross University and Mulpha Australia, with campuses in the heart of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and Hayman Island.

YuanHsin Hsieh completed a Master of Business in Global Hotel Leadership graduate and said she was looking forward to graduation. “Studying during COVID made things harder so I’m really happy I stuck with it. I’m really proud of myself.”

Rashini Kaushalya Koththagoda Kankanamge, an international student from Sri Lanka, said graduating is a dream fulfilled. “Ever since I was a child, it has been my goal to complete my postgraduate degree at a top university in Australia. I have a happiness that I cannot put into words,” she said.

International student from Singapore, Le Thu Truc Nguyen, travelled to Australia to be awarded a Doctor of Business Administration following nearly two years of international border closures.

Two years after having completed her studies, Nguyen was looking forward to attending the ceremony. “I had the chance to visit Melbourne and see my old friends surrounded by my family. My father is a professor at Vietnam National University and I hope my achievement has made him proud.”

Media contact: Content team