8 December 2009

More than 160 graduands are preparing for The University of Queensland Ipswich Campus graduation ceremonies tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9 at the Ipswich Civic Hall.

Business, Economics and Law and Health Sciences students will celebrate at the 2pm ceremony; while students from the Faculties of Arts and Social and Behavioural Sciences will graduate at the 4pm ceremony.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Rix said the ceremonies allowed graduands, their families and University staff the opportunity to join together in celebration.

“These ceremonies are a vital acknowledgment of the accomplishments of our students,” he said.

“It’s important to allow graduands their families and University staff the opportunity to join together in celebration.”

Laura Hampel is one of the graduands for 2009 who will accept her degree on Wednesday. She has completed a Bachelor of Business with majors in Event Management and Hospitality Management.

“The reason I chose UQ Ipswich and this course was because it was exactly what I was looking for in terms of the business, hospitality and events component," she said.

"The subjects were varied, interesting and relevant to modern day issues and the challenges I will face in my career."

During her time at UQ Ipswich Laura has been an active part of student life, getting involved in many of the activities available and working as a Student Guide showing potential students around campus, talking with school students about uni and assisting with major events such as Open Day.

“I have found that studying and enjoying student life at UQ Ipswich has been a fantastic experience. I have benefited from the relationships I have built with fellow students, and the guidance and support from the staff have assisted me in getting the most out of my studies,” she said.

An Honorary Degree will also be presented at the 4pm ceremony.

“In addition to the graduating students it is with pleasure we also present an Honorary Degree to poet and novelist Thomas Shapcott at our 4pm ceremony,” Professor Rix said.

The inaugural Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide, Thomas Shapcott AO is one of Australia’s major poets. In recognition of his distinguished career he will be presented the award of Doctor of Letters honoris causa bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland at the 4pm ceremony.

He was born and bred in Ipswich and says discovering classical music at the age of 13 provided a refuge from a “very constricted suburban world of a petty bourgeois family in a small town”.

Throughout his prolific career he has produced novels, poetry, short stories, libretti, dramas and reviews. He has written 15 collections of poems, seven novels for adults and four novels for children. Mr Shapcott serves as an inspiration to young writers and his main piece of advice is to be persistent as well as prepared for rejections as these are part of the process.

Both of the graduation ceremonies will be attended by a high-profile member of the community who will act as the guest speaker.

Mr Paul Casos, Executive Chairman of Ipswich Events Corporation and Company Director of Torque Communities will act as guest speaker for the Faculty of Business Economics and Law and the Faculty of Health Science ceremony, which commences at 2pm. Paul Casos is a long standing Ipswich resident who has contributed significantly towards the positive development of his profession, community organisations, events and programs, locally and internationally. Paul has received numerous awards and citations for his contribution to business and the community including a Centenary Medal from the Federal Government and a Paul Harris Fellowship on two occasions by Rotary International.

Professor Richard Fotheringham, on behalf of Mr Shapcott, will read the first two poems from Shapcott’s anthology “Shabbytown Calendar” at the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences ceremony, which commences at 4pm.

The 2009 Ipswich Graduation ceremonies will be held at 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday, 9 December at the Ipswich Civic Hall, Cnr Limestone and Nicholas Streets, Ipswich.

Media: Ipswich Marketing & Development Manager Jessica Freiberg on 3381 1068 or 0421 587 278.