Mother and daughter graduate together

Published 30 June 2022
Daughter and mother, Maddie (left) and Rose (right) Smith, standing in front of a garden. Mother and daughter, Maddie (left) and Rose (right) Smith

Rose and Maddie Smith have put a fresh twist on mother-daughter dynamics, going from parent and young adult to University study buddies. The two are excited to be graduating an education degree together.

Both Rose, 48, and Maddie, 22, always wanted to be teachers. With Maddie’s brother also studying education and three of Rose’s brothers working in the field, it certainly runs in the family.

Maddie had already been studying the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Primary) for 12 months when her mother Rose decided to apply.

“I came home one Friday afternoon and decided to call the University and enquire, and it was the last day for applications,” Rose said.

“They said you have until midnight to apply. So, I applied that night and was accepted.”

Maddie was sitting at the kitchen table when her mother passed her an acceptance letter.

“I thought it was mine,” Maddie laughed. “Then I read the name and it was Mum’s and it was very exciting.”

They set a goal to graduate together, and with Maddie’s 12-month head-start, Rose threw herself into her studies while still working full-time.

“I just really buckled down and in the last 12 months I studied 14 units,” Rose said.

“I don’t know how I did it but I had a lot of support from Maddie. She was amazing.”

Rose said being enrolled in some of the same classes together was funny as their classmates didn’t realise they were related.

 “We wouldn’t tell them to start off with, and then after a while we’d say, ‘oh, we’re actually mother and daughter’,” she laughed.

They both said it was great to have each other to lean on and even spent a camping trip over Christmas completing university work together.

“It was good to have each other to support and read over one other’s assignments,” Maddie said.

“There were times when it was just too much for me and Maddie would be there to pick me up and then we’d do the opposite,” Rose said.

“One would be the strong one and one would be the one crying,” she said.

Maddie said her mother has been an inspiration. “She has four children and Dad, he was unwell, and Mum had all the appointments to go to, and she just worked so hard,” Maddie said.

“It’s been absolutely inspirational.”

The two have already secured teaching positions, with Rose working at Clunes Public School and Lismore Public School, and Maddie teaching at St James Primary School Banora Point.

“It’s a rewarding and challenging profession but it’s certainly well worth it for our students,” Maddie said, with Rose agreeing.

“It’s a special gift to be able to help children learn,” Rose said.

Rose and Maddie will be awarded the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast graduation ceremony on June 30.

Find out more about studying Education at Southern Cross University.

Watch the graduation ceremony live stream

Media contact: Content team content@scu.edu.au