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First Lismore graduation following COVID, floods


Content team
2 November 2022

Success and resilience will be celebrated at Southern Cross University’s Lismore graduation ceremonies on Saturday 5 November 2022.

It will be the first graduation event to be held at the Lismore campus in over three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 210 students are set to graduate across two ceremonies.

A Chancellor’s Medal will be presented to Doctor of Philosophy graduates Dr Luke Jeffrey and Dr Laura Stoltenberg in recognition of their outstanding PhD theses, while a University Medal will be awarded to Bachelor of Education (Honours) graduate Timothy Barringham for high academic achievement.

Dr Jeffrey said he felt privileged and honoured to receive the award. “It’s a testament to many years of hard work, not just for me but also for my supervisors and the support I had from others during my PhD,” he said.

Graduation also marks a milestone for former student ambassador Shimay Clark, who has witnessed hundreds of students receive their testamur while working at graduation events. Ms Clark said she is excited for her turn to graduate with the Bachelor of Science.

“As a student ambassador I used to hand out tickets and usher at the ceremonies and I haven’t done that for over three years now because of the pandemic,” Ms Clark said. “So, it’s really nice to see graduation ceremonies come back and bring a bit more normality back to the uni.”

Ms Clark is currently working as a Technical Assistant at the Southern Cross University Analytical Research Laboratory and said she is eager to utilise her degree by continuing to work on genetic projects involving endangered species. “Wherever the opportunities are, I go. I’m excited to see what’s possible.”

Meanwhile graduating is triply thrilling for Narelle ‘Nell’ Tynan, who has completed three degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts with Honours and the Associate Degree of Creative Writing. “I’m pretty excited and a little emotional to think that I finally got there,” Mrs Tynan said.

Studying introduced Mrs Tynan to new ideas and allowed her to hone her skills. “The highlights for me were being exposed to wonderful writers that I wouldn’t have normally thought to pick up and also learn from incredible academics and about theories that I wasn’t previously aware of.”

She is now ready to kickstart her career as a writer and is in the process of writing a novel alongside several children’s stories.

Southern Cross University Vice President (Engagement) Ben Roche said graduation is an important opportunity to come together and celebrate success at the Lismore campus.

“Graduation marks a significant milestone for our students who have completed their studies and triumphed over significant external challenges from lockdowns to natural disasters. We are extremely proud of all their accomplishments and we look forward to welcoming them to our global alumni community of over 70,000 graduates.

“It is elating to see events such as graduation return to our Lismore campus. This campus has been home to so much activity in recent times, after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Our Lismore campus is growing in vibrancy each day and benefits from the diversity of students that study here. It is an exciting time for Lismore, and for the Northern Rivers.”

Damian Chapelle, the Managing Director and Principal Town Planner at Newton Denny Chapelle and Jane Laverty, the Regional Director at Business NSW Northern Rivers will each give an occasional address.

The graduation ceremonies will take place on Saturday 5 November 2022 at Whitebrook Theatre on the Lismore campus.