It was a day of celebration for USQ.
More than 200 testamurs were bestowed to graduates as proud family and friends cheered them on at two graduation ceremonies at the Ipswich Civic Centre today.
Law graduate Chantal Ryan flew from New Zealand to deliver the valedictory address at the morning ceremony.
In the crowd were her biggest supporters, including her partner Ben, mother Karen, sister Zali and aunt Kerry who all travelled across the Tasman to see Miss Ryan receive her degree.
Miss Ryan addressed her fellow graduates by encouraging them to pursue their passions and never stop learning.
“It’s taken a lot of determination, perseverance and strength, and now we’re one step closer to achieving our personal career goals,” she said.
“Congratulations to each of you – we’ve made it. The long days and sleepless nights have ended, and we can finally say, the tassel was worth the hassle.”
Miss Ryan finished her law studies at USQ Springfield before moving to New Zealand to be closer to family.
She is now working full-time at an immigration law firm in Queenstown where she has accepted a position as an immigration advisor, commencing upon gaining her New Zealand practicing certificate.
Miss Ryan said her decision to study law was driven by a desire to find a career that will challenge her and help others.
“I had always been interested in criminal law and criminology, but I decided to study law at USQ because the degree covered a broad range of topics in law and legal practice,” she said.
“I enjoy helping people and building a rapport which is essential in law. I find that part very rewarding.
“I was very fortunate to find an amazing job straight after uni to kick-start my legal career and have the chance to draw on the skills and knowledge I gained in my degree.
“I owe a lot of that to my lecturers who went above and beyond to help me throughout my time at USQ.”
At the morning ceremony, students from the study disciplines of Business and Commerce; Creative Arts and Media; Education; Humanities and Communication; Information Technology; and Law and Justice heard from guest speaker ABC presenter Jessica van Vonderen.
Engineering and Built Environment; Health and Community; and Sciences students graduated at the afternoon ceremony, receiving words of wisdom from Tony Hucker ASM, Director (Clinical Quality and Patient Safety) of the Queensland Ambulance Service.
Valedictorian Chantal Ryan.