A new graduate from Dubbo has urged people with dreams to “go for it” as she and scores of others celebrated their achievements.
Tara Hincks juggled buying a house, getting married and starting work with the final year of tertiary studies in 2017.
On Friday her efforts yielded results when she graduated from Charles Sturt University (CSU) with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary).
Ms Hicks was one of 74 graduates attending the ceremony from a variety of disciplines.
The recipient of a Teacher Education Scholarship, she said it had been a hard but good four years.
“And this year’s been a really busy year because I’ve bought a house and got married and started working casually as well,” she said.
Ms Hicks, who started university as mature age student, encouraged others to pursue their dreams.
“If you really want something, go for it, don’t let anything hold you back,” she said.
Family had inspired the new graduate’s choice of career path.
“My mum’s a TAFE teacher and my brother’s a teacher, and I’ve always loved working with children, so I thought I’d give it a go and I actually love it,” she said.
“Following in their footsteps, so it’s really rewarding.”
Cheer squads were on deck to support the graduates at the ceremony that marked the culmination of years of hard work.
“Graduation is a time of celebration for both the graduating students and their families and friends and we are proud to celebrate their achievements and welcome them into the workforce as future professionals and leaders in our communities,” CSU head of campus at Dubbo Cathy Maginnis said.
“It is a time when academic and support staff can congratulate the students on their achievements and overcoming challenges to achieve their goals and realise their dreams.”
Nursing student Joanne Wilde graduated with distinction and received the Ajisai Prize in nursing.
Rebecca Davis graduated with Bachelor of Social Work (Honours Class 1).
Mr Zenzo Ncube graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work and received a Dean’s award for academic excellence.
CSU executive director for student administration Carmel O’Regan said the majority of CSU students were mature-aged – over 21 rather than school leavers.
“I think that’s recognition in what CSU does in the community in terms of reaching out to the regional areas and giving people that opportunity for education, that gives them further opportunities in life, that they may not have had,” she said.