It was a day of sunny skies and smiling faces at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) celebrated the graduation of hundreds of scientists and engineers. About 500 students attended the first graduation ceremonies of 2019 at the USQ Toowoomba on Friday 5 April, each congratulated by Chancellor John Dornbusch and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie in front of thousands of family and friends.

Morning ceremony valedictorian Kirrily Werth, who received a Bachelor of Health with Distinction, addressed fellow graduates with words of wisdom of one of her own heroes.“Rita Levi-Montalcini was a neurologist who received the 1986 Nobel Prize – she said ‘I tell young people: Do not think of yourself, think of others. Think of the future what awaits you, think about what you can do and do not fear anything’,” Werth said. “I started university unsure about what career I wanted but was certain it would be something that combined medicine and science. I have found university study has a way of fuelling your passion for your chosen field, and future career. I vividly recall my first placement in a pathology laboratory, and being absolutely certain by the end of day one that I wanted to be a medical scientist.”

As she looked out at the sea of black cloaks, Werth commended all in the room on their shared achievement. “We’ve shown resilience, dedication, and perseverance to achieve this goal, and we should be proud of ourselves. The testamur we received today only has our name on it, but we were not the only people who made this possible,” she said.

The graduations continue next week with ceremonies for Business & Commerce, Information Technology, Law & Justice, Creative Arts & Media, Education, and Humanities & Communication.

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