2017's local graduates of the University of Canberra

Rebecca Gower

For Goulburn local Rebecca Gower, years of commuting to the University of Canberra’s Bruce campus each day for class have paid off.

The 23-year old said receiving her double degree in a ceremony at Parliament House was a massive relief that left her feeling great.

“I am excited to be graduating; I feel like I have learned so much,” said Ms Gower, who holds Bachelors in Arts and Science (psychology). “I particularly enjoyed interactive learning and meeting many new and interesting people.”

Ms Gower’s parents, Kelly and Paul, and boyfriend Jacob saw her graduate. She has already secured “a great job” in youth refuge casework.

Jessica Croker

If the “third time’s a charm”, the saying rings true in Jess Croker’s case. The soon-to-be Goulburn resident graduated last month with a Master of Teaching, a hat trick to her Bachelors of Commerce (2010) and Politics and International Relations (2012). After time abroad and returning to work in the marketing industry, she decided to follow her heart. “I was always planning on teaching,” Ms Croker said. “Since finishing my two undergraduate degrees, I’ve worked for universities in the marketing space … I loved being in schools and working with students, so that’s why I thought I’d go back and do the qualification.”

Samantha Barry

After completing a Bachelor of Education from the University of Canberra, Goulburn’s Samantha Barry is ready to give back to her hometown.

“It was a long four years, but today makes it all worth it,” she said, ahead of collecting her degree. “I want to empower children with the skills and knowledge to succeed and to fulfil their dreams, whatever they may be. I’m looking forward to bringing some new ideas into the classroom.”

Ms Barry, who went to Goulburn High School, is currently doing casual work at primary schools in Goulburn. Her partner, Shann Chain, was at the ceremony.

The University of Canberra hosted its graduation ceremonies for more than 1400 students in the Great Hall at Parliament House in late September.

Vice-chancellor and president Professor Deep Saini congratulated the students on their success, saying: “Our greatest source of pride is you, our students and graduates”.

“Whether you are graduating with your first degree or a postgraduate qualification, I offer you my sincerest congratulations and wish you a long and successful career in your chosen field,”  Professor Saini said.

More than 16,800 students currently attend the University of Canberra with a strong emphasis on work-integrated learning giving students valuable experience in the workplace before they graduate.

The University has been named in the top two per cent of tertiary institutions worldwide, according to the 2018 Times Higher Education World Rankings. 

It is also placed in the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years of age, in the Top 100 Asia-Pacific universities and 30th in the world for Gen-Y Universities.

Natasha White, Crookwell

Another Southern Tablelands graduate this year was Natasha White of Crookwell, who graduated with a Bachelor of Secondary Education (Health and Physical Education).

“I’ve always wanted to teach,” she said. “There’s never really been another plan. My career adviser came to me in Year 12 and asked what I wanted to do and it was always teaching. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t on my radar as a potential job.”

Ms White is now working at Campbell High School in Canberra, where she completed the final practical element of her degree.​