16 December 1999

Children's Commissioner Robin Sullivan will be guest speaker at a University of Queensland graduation ceremony on Friday, December 17, in Mayne Hall.

Mrs Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Queensland and has contributed a wealth of practical experience and theoretical research to the education system. She will speak at the 6.15pm Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences graduation ceremony.

A Fellow of the Australian College of Education and a Fellow of the Queensland Institute for Educational Administration, Mrs Sullivan's years of service in schools throughout Queensland culminated in her appointment as Deputy Director-General of Education in April 1997.

Appointed Children's Commissioner in April 1999, she is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the delivery of children's service and receiving, assessing and investigating complaints about the delivery of children's service and alleged offences involving children. Mrs Sullivan is a member of the Child Protection Council and the Queensland Crime Commission Management Committee, and contributes to a range of children's issues and policy setting at state and national levels.

o Dr Sangob Laksana, Secretary General of the Office of Rajabhat Institutes Council will be among VIPs from Thailand witnessing the graduation of students from various Rajabhats (colleges of advanced education) in Thailand at the 6.15pm ceremony. The students have been completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Education at The University of Queensland.

UQ's Graduate School of Education ran a Joint Training Project with Rajabhat Institute Chiang Mai throughout 1998-99. The project is conducted both offshore in Thailand and by distance education. A group of 27 lecturers with the Rajabhat Institute Chiang Mai and the Rajabhat Institute Chiang Rai will be awarded Postgraduate Diplomas in Professional Educational Studies (Higher Education Specialist) and Graduate Diplomas in Education

Also witnessing the graduation will be seven students undertaking an offshore remote UQ PhD program in conjunction with the Joint Training Project. The Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai remote PhD candidates are currently undertaking their residency at UQ. Sixteen Rajabhat staff are enrolled in the remote PhD program in Thailand. Some of those graduating from the Postgraduate Diploma program on 17 December plan to move into the PhD remote program.

Graduate School of Education Director of International Projects Dr Deborah Selway (telephone 07 3365 6503) said the School anticipated it will again run a Joint Training Project with Rajabhat Institutes in 2000. "The Joint Training Project has now been running successfully since 1997. Upon the graduation of this current cohort, we will have had 50 graduates from the Joint Training Project," she said.

Graduates at the ceremony include:

o Bachelor of Social Work graduate Sharon Smith, who is also believed to be the first Aboriginal woman valedictorian at a UQ graduation ceremony.

o 19 team leaders in the State Government's Department of Families, Youth and Community Care, who will graduate with a Graduate Certificate in Human Services Management, a specially designed and delivered course provided by the School of Social Work and Social Policy for the Department of Families. Team leaders have front-line management responsibility for child protection and juvenile justice services. The course focused on developing their understanding and skills in the areas of professional supervision, people management and child protection/juvenile justice practice.

Participants on the course were from all regions of Queensland. The course was designed as a workplace-based educational experience, drawing on and building on team leaders' knowledge and skills. Contact Andrew Jones (telephone 07 3365 1843).

o PhD recipient Bernard McKenna (telephone 07 3864 1061 at work, 07 3261 3075 at home or mobile 0412 753 533), who found in his thesis that if a federal ALP government were elected tomorrow, it would make no difference to important Howard Government policy directions.

His thesis, How Labor Lost Its Labour, which was supervised by Professor Allan Luke of the Graduate School of Education, tracks the collapse of traditional labourist principles during the Hawke and Keating Governments.

Using a critical discourse method, Dr McKenna analysed documents and Hansards from the original Accord in February 1983 to the last Parliamentary sitting of the Keating Government. Findings from Dr McKenna's thesis are being published in journals and book chapters. He is now studying the One Nation Party and Third Way politics.

o Hank Wymara, who will graduate with a Master of Social Planning and Development. His family will attend the ceremony from the Torres Strait Islands.

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