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Aboriginal worker graduates with family members


Brigid Veale
13 April 2005
Evelyn Fay Binge of Lismore will be a proud graduate at Southern Cross University's graduation ceremony at the Lismore campus on Saturday - and she expects plenty of family support with her daughter and nephew also graduating during April.

Southern Cross University (SCU) Lismore campus graduation ceremonies will be on Saturday April 16 and 23, with a total of seven ceremonies across the two days.

Mrs Binge, who will graduate with a Master of Indigenous Studies on April 16, said her degree set a new standard and interest in tertiary education within her family.

"I think I've started an increasing interest in further studies and getting degrees. My granddaughters have already shown an interest," Mrs Binge said.

Mrs Binge's nephew Christopher Binge, of Lismore, will also graduate on April 16 with a Master of Indigenous Studies. He has been awarded the Bundjalung Prize, a shared prize, for significant contribution to Indigenous communities in Bundjalung lands.

Mr Binge is the manager of Mallanee Bugilmah in Casino, a service funded by the NSW Department of Community Services that works intensively with Indigenous families in crisis. The service covers the whole of the Richmond Valley.

Mr Binge, a father of four, said the Masters program was based on trauma recovery and healing, including Indigenous counselling and an Indigenous way of working.

"The course helped me with information and to repair some aspects of my own life — and that's going to help me incredibly with the families and people I work with," he said.

Mrs Binge is a mother of six and has 20 years of community, welfare and church work in Casino and Moree, in western NSW.

She said the Masters program was a personal journey giving her a stronger voice and more confidence following a childhood which included a lot of loss and grief.

There to support Fay and Chris Binge on April 16 will be Fay's daughter Leann Binge, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Nursing on April 23.

Graduation ceremonies at SCU's Whitebrook Theatre on April 16 are: School of Arts, School of Law and Justice at 9am; School of Commerce and Management, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at 11.30am; School of Education at 3pm; and School of Social Sciences, College of Indigenous Australian Peoples at 5.30pm.

Graduation ceremonies at SCU's Whitebrook Theatre on April 23 are: School of Multimedia and Information Technology, Graduate College of Management at 9am; School of Environmental Science and Management , School of Natural and Complementary Medicine at 11.30am; School of Exercise Science and Sport Management, School of Nursing and Health Care Practices at 3pm.